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UN conference against racism makes progress on drafting action plan, final declaration

UN conference against racism makes progress on drafting action plan, final declaration

Delegates to the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, today continued to make progress on drafts dealing with the global programme of action to fight discrimination as well as the meeting's final declaration.

A working group on the conference's final statement yesterday adopted eight paragraphs, including ones that recalled the importance of enhancing international cooperation to promote the fight against racism and discrimination and achieving the goals set at other UN conferences. The approved paragraphs also recognized the important role of relevant regional bodies in the battle against prejudice.

Meanwhile, the President of the Conference, South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has taken the lead in trying to find compromise language relating to the Middle East.

A second working group negotiating the final global plan of action approved 13 paragraphs, many dealing with the issue of migration or calling on countries to undertake initiatives to protect and promote respect for human rights.

Earlier today, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Secretary-General of the Conference, Mary Robinson, addressed a forum on the link between HIV/AIDS and discrimination and racism.

Mrs. Robinson told the panellists that the conference provided an opportunity to build on the achievements of the recent UN General Assembly special session on AIDS, which recognised the need to put human rights at the heart of the global response to the epidemic.