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UN Human Rights Chief welcomes agreement on a document for next week’s Durban Review Conference

The final meeting of the Peparatory Committee for next week’s Review Conference on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance has concluded in Geneva with agreement on a draft outcome document for the conference.

Delegates have reached an agreement on the text of a draft outcome document to be forwarded for consideration and adoption at next week’s anti-racism conference in Geneva. © OHCHR photoThe document, which has been the subject of intense discussion and debate will now be forwarded for consideration and adoption at next week’s Review Conference.

UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay told a news conference late on Friday, after delegates reached consensus, that “it had not been an easy process” but the result was “excellent”.

“As in many intergovernmental negotiations,” she said, “States began this process with divergent views, but they have remained committed to the goal of finding a way to move forward together to tackle the scourge of racism.”

Pillay described the outcome document as a “major achievement which covers all the issues and offers hope the world over to the millions of people who suffer racism,
racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance every day of every week”.

Ms Pillay said she was certain that because the document had been “so well deliberated it will have an easy passage through the conference and I would be surprised if it changed.”

Next week’s Review Conference will assess progress and implementation – at national, regional and local levels – of the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the 2001 Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

April 2009