Group of Independent Eminent Experts on the Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action


Introduction

Members of the Group of Independent Eminent Experts on the Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action was adopted at the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR), held in Durban, South Africa. Paragraph 191 (b) of the Durban Programme of Action “"[r]equests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in follow-up to the Conference, to cooperate with five independent eminent experts, one from each region, appointed by the Secretary-General from among candidates proposed by the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, after consultation with the regional groups, to follow the implementation of the provisions of the Declaration and Programme of Action."

In 2002, the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/266 which “[r]equests the Secretary-General, in accordance with the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, to appoint five independent eminent experts, one from each region, from among candidates proposed by the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, after consultation with the regional groups, to follow the implementation of the provisions of the Declaration and Programme of Action”.

On 16 June 2003, the Secretary-General appointed the following five independent eminent experts:

  • His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan; 
  • Mr. Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari, former President of Finland; 
  • Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity and former President of the United Nations General Assembly; 
  • Her Excellency Hanna Suchocka, former Prime Minister of Poland; and 
  • Dr. Edna Maria Santos Roland of Brazil, General Rapporteur of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

Recent appointments of new experts

In May 2018, the Secretary-General appointed the following independent eminent experts:

  • Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR, OCORT, scholar-diplomat, Founder/Chairman of the Board of Directors of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (Nigeria)
  • Dr. Saied A. Ashshowwaf, Associate Professor of Strategic Planning, Member of the Saudi Human Rights Council (Saudi Arabia)

Current members

  • African States: Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR, OCORT, scholar-diplomat, Founder/Chairman of the Board of Directors of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development
  • Asia-Pacific States: Dr. Saied A. Ashshowwaf, Associate Professor of Strategic Planning, Member of the Saudi Human Rights Council
  • Eastern European States: Her Excellency Hanna Suchocka, former Prime Minister of Poland;
  • Latin American and Caribbean States: Dr. Edna Maria Santos Roland of Brazil, General Rapporteur of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance;
  • Western European and other States: Vacant

Mandate

In 2002, the former Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution 2002/68 with the following terms of reference:

(a)  To receive reports from States, non-governmental organizations, and all relevant institutions within the United Nations system on the implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and make recommendations to States for their national plans of action, bearing in mind the resource constraints of the developing countries;

(b)  To make recommendations to the Intergovernmental Working Group on measures for effective and coordinated implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, including regional perspectives;

(c)   To make recommendations to the Secretary-General, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Commission on ways and means of mobilizing the resources necessary for anti-racism activities;

(d)  To assist the Intergovernmental Working Group in its preparation of complementary standards to strengthen and update international instruments against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in all their aspects;

(e)  To cooperate with the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Commission and the Office of the High Commissioner in the comprehensive implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

In 2003, the former Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution 2003/30, with the following readjustment of their terms of reference:

(a)  To follow the implementation of the provisions of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and assist the High Commissioner in preparing his annual progress report to the Commission and to the General Assembly based on information and views provided by States, relevant human rights treaty bodies, special procedures and other mechanisms of the Commission, international, regional and non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions;

(b)  Bearing in mind the recommendations of the Working Group, requests the independent eminent experts to assist the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the assessment and evaluation of the existing international standards and instruments to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance with a view to preparing complementary standards.