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UN expert on Racism/Xenophobia on first visit to the United Arab Emirates




GENEVA (2 October 2009) -- The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mr. Githu Muigai (Kenya), will undertake a country visit to the United Arab Emirates from 4 October to 8 October 2009, at the invitation of the Government.

“During my five-day mission, I will gather first-hand information on the main issues facing people living in the United Arab Emirates concerning issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” said the Rapporteur, “with a view toward contributing with the State on ways and means of addressing potential problems, as well as to identify good practices”.

Mr. Muigai is the first UN human rights expert monitoring racism and xenophobia to visit the United Arab Emirates. “Missions like this one are important because we can bring our expert knowledge to enhance and enrich cooperation with States for the protection and promotion of human rights”, said Mr. Githu Muigai. A final report on the visit will be submitted to the Human Rights Council in 2010.

The Special Rapporteur will visit the cities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. He is scheduled to hold meetings with representatives of the Government, both at the Federal and local levels, and with members of the legislative and judicial branches. Discussions will also be held with non-governmental organizations, community members, academics and other organizations and individuals working in the field of racism and discrimination.

A press conference will be held at 12h00 on 8 October 2009, at the UN House in Abu Dhabi (Al-Karamah Street, Villa No. 226/2, Abu Dhabi).

Mr. Githu Muigai, a Kenyan national, commenced his mandate as Special Rapporteur on 1 August 2008 after being appointed by the Human Rights Council. He is a lawyer specialized in international human rights law. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on racism was established in 1993 by the Commission on Human Rights to examine incidents of contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, as well as governmental measures to overcome them. It was further extended by the Human Rights Council in its resolutions 5/1 and 7/34.