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SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE TO VISIT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



16 May 2008


GENEVA-- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mr. Doudou Diène, will undertake a country visit to the United States of America from 19 May to 6 June 2008 at the invitation of the U.S. Government.

The Special Rapporteur will visit the cities of Washington, New York, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico to gather first-hand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. He is scheduled to hold meetings with representatives of the Government, both at national and local levels, and with members of the legislative and judiciary branches. Discussions will also be held with non-governmental organizations, community members, representatives of political parties, academics and other organizations and individuals working in the field of racism and discrimination.

The Special Rapporteur will submit a final report on the visit for consideration at a forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council in 2009.
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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. A former director of UNESCO Department of Intercultural Dialogue, Mr. Diène is the second Special Rapporteur to hold the mandate. Since his appointment in 2002, he has conducted official visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Canada, Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Côte d'Ivoire, Guatemala, Japan, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy, the Russian Federation, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Dominican Republic and Mauritania. For more information please go to http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/racism/rapporteur/index.htm

At the end of his country visit to the United States of America the Special Rapporteur on racism will hold a press conference on 6 June 2008 at 3:00 p.m. at the United Nations Information Center in Washington DC (1775 K Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006).