Action plan from Durban Racism Conference endorsed by General Assembly

Action plan from Durban Racism Conference endorsed by General Assembly

Stressing the need to maintain momentum in the battle against racism, the United Nations General Assembly has endorsed the Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa last September.

Stressing the need to maintain momentum in the battle against racism, the United Nations General Assembly has endorsed the Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa last September.

At a meeting of the UN’s largest legislative body yesterday, the Assembly described the Durban Conference as having made an important contribution to the eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. It asked the Secretary-General to appoint five independent experts – one from each region of the world – to follow-up the implementation of the two Durban documents – the Declaration and the Programme of Action.

A majority of 134 States voted in favour of the Assembly’s endorsement of the Durban process. Two States that withdrew from Durban last year – Israel and the United States – voted against the Assembly resolution, with the US representative describing the Durban documents as placing an “unacceptable” focus on the behaviour of one State. A further two States abstained from voting.

Three other texts relating to racism were also adopted without a vote at the meeting – on government responsibility for protecting individuals against racist crimes, on misuse of media and new communication technologies to incite racist violence, and on State obligations to educate young people in human rights and democratic citizenship.