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Preamble

UNITED NATIONS A, General Assembly Distr., GENERAL, A/ CONF. 189/…… 24 September 2001, Original: ENGLISH, WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE Durban, 31 August-8 September 2001, Adopted on 8 September 2001 in Durban, South Africa (Final Version Released on December 31, 2002)
EDITOR's Note: This document on this website has been reorganized around the themes of the conference. To obtain the original unedited version see:

 

  

Vernellia R. Randall
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             Having met in Durban, South Africa, from 31 August to 8 September 2001,

            Expressing deep appreciation to the Government of South Africa for hosting this World Conference,

            Drawing inspiration from the heroic struggle of the people of South Africa against the institutionalized system of apartheid, as well as for equality and justice under democracy, development, the rule of law and respect for human rights, recalling in this context the important contribution to that struggle of the international community and, in particular, the pivotal role of the people and Governments of Africa, and noting the important role that different actors of civil society, including non-governmental organizations, played in that struggle and in ongoing efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

            Recalling that the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in June 1993, calls for the speedy and comprehensive elimination of all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

            Recalling Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/74 of 18 April 1997, General Assembly resolution 52/111 of 12 December 1997 and subsequent resolutions of those bodies concerning the convening of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and recalling also the two World Conferences to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, held in Geneva in 1978 and 1983, respectively,

            Noting with grave concern that despite the efforts of the international community, the principal objectives of the three Decades to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination have not been attained and that countless human beings continue to the present day to be victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

            Recalling that the year 2001 is the International Year of Mobilization against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, aimed at drawing the world’s attention to the objectives of the World Conference and giving new momentum to the political commitment to eliminate all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

            Welcoming the decision of the General Assembly to proclaim the year 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, which underlines tolerance and respect for diversity and the need to seek common ground among and within civilizations in order to address common challenges to humanity that threaten shared values, universal human rights and the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, through cooperation, partnership and inclusion,

            Welcoming also the proclamation by the General Assembly of the period 2001-2010 as the Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for Children of the World, as well as the adoption by the General Assembly of the Declaration and Plan of Action on a Culture of Peace,

 

            Recognizing that the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, in conjunction with the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, presents a unique opportunity to consider the invaluable contributions of indigenous peoples to political, economic, social, cultural and spiritual development throughout the world to our societies, as well as the challenges faced by them, including racism and racial discrimination,

            Recalling the United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples of 1960,

            Reaffirming our commitment to the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

            Affirming that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance constitute a negation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

            Reaffirming the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,

 

            Convinced of the fundamental importance of universal accession to or ratification of and full implementation of our obligations arising under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as the principal international instrument to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

            Recognizing the fundamental importance for States, in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, to consider signing, ratifying or acceding to all relevant international human rights instruments, with a view to universal adherence,

            Having taken note of the reports of the regional conferences organized at Strasbourg, Santiago, Dakar and Tehran and other inputs from States, as well as the reports of expert seminars, non-governmental organization regional meetings and other meetings organized in preparation for the World Conference,

            Noting with appreciation the Vision Statement launched by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa under the patronage of The Honourable Nelson Mandela, first President of the new South Africa, and at the initiative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Secretary‑General of the World Conference, and signed by seventy-four heads of State, heads of Government and dignitaries,

            Reaffirming that cultural diversity is a cherished asset for the advancement and welfare of humanity at large and should be valued, enjoyed, genuinely accepted and embraced as a permanent feature which enriches our societies,

            Acknowledging that no derogation from the prohibition of racial discrimination, genocide, the crime of apartheid and slavery is permitted, as defined in the obligations under the relevant human rights instruments,

            Having listened to the peoples of the world and recognizing their aspirations to justice, to equality of opportunity for all and everyone, to the enjoyment of their human rights, including the right to development, to live in peace and freedom and to equal participation without discrimination in economic, social, cultural, civil and political life,

            Recognizing that the equal participation of all individuals and peoples in the formation of just, equitable, democratic and inclusive societies can contribute to a world free from racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

            Emphasizing the importance of the equitable participation of all, without any discrimination, in domestic as well as global decision-making,

            Affirming that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, where they amount to racism and racial discrimination, constitute serious violations of and obstacles to the full enjoyment of all human rights and deny the self‑evident truth that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, are an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations among peoples and nations, and are among the root causes of many internal and international conflicts, including armed conflicts, and the consequent forced displacement of populations,

            Recognizing that national and international actions are required to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in order to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights, economic, social, cultural, civil and political, which are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, and to improve the living conditions of men, women and children of all nations,

            Reaffirming the importance of the enhancement of international cooperation for the promotion and protection of human rights and for the achievement of the objectives of the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,  

            Acknowledging that xenophobia, in its different manifestations, is one of the main contemporary sources and forms of discrimination and conflict, combating which requires urgent attention and prompt action by States, as well as by the international community,

            Fully aware that, despite efforts undertaken by the international community, Governments and local authorities, the scourge of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance persists and continues to result in violations of human rights, suffering, disadvantage and violence, which must be combated by all available and appropriate means and as a matter of the highest priority, preferably in cooperation with affected communities,

            Noting with concern the continued and violent occurrence of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and that theories of superiority of certain races and cultures over others, promoted and practised during the colonial era, continue to be propounded in one form or another even today,

            Alarmed by the emergence and continued occurrence of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in their more subtle and contemporary forms and manifestations, as well as by other ideologies and practices based on racial or ethnic discrimination or superiority,

            Strongly rejecting any doctrine of racial superiority, along with theories which attempt to determine the existence of so-called distinct human races,

            Recognizing that failure to combat and denounce racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance by all, especially by public authorities and politicians at all levels, is a factor encouraging their perpetuation,

            Reaffirming that States have the duty to protect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all victims, and that they should apply a gender[i] perspective, recognizing the multiple forms of discrimination which women can face, and that the enjoyment of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights is essential for the development of societies throughout the world,

            Recognizing both the challenges and opportunities presented by an increasingly globalized world in relation to the struggle to eradicate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

            Determined, in an era when globalization and technology have contributed considerably to bringing people together, to materialize the notion of a human family based on equality, dignity and solidarity, and to make the twenty-first century a century of human rights, the eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the realization of genuine equality of opportunity and treatment for all individuals and peoples,

            Reaffirming the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and recalling that all individuals are born equal in dignity and rights, stressing that such equality must be protected as a matter of the highest priority and recognizing the duty of States to take prompt, decisive and appropriate measures with a view to eliminating all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

            Dedicating ourselves to combating the scourge of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance fully and effectively as a matter of priority, while drawing lessons from manifestations and past experiences of racism in all parts of the world with a view to avoiding their recurrence,

            Joining together in a spirit of renewed political will and commitment to universal equality, justice and dignity, we salute the memory of all victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance all over the world and solemnly adopt the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, [ii]


[i] For the purpose of this Declaration and Programme of Action, it was understood that the term “gender” refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term “gender” does not indicate any meaning different from the above.

 

[ii] Reference should be made to chapter VII of the report of the Conference, which lists all the reservations to and statements on the Declaration and the Programme of Action.

 

Preamble
General Issues
Sources Causes Forms and Manifestations
Victims of Racism
Measures of Prevention Education and Protection
Provision of Effective Remedies and Other Measures
Strategies to Achieve Full and Effective Equality

 

 
 
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[ Preamble ] General Issues ] Sources Causes Forms and Manifestations ] Victims of Racism ] Measures of Prevention Education and Protection ] Provision of Effective Remedies and Other Measures ] Strategies to Achieve Full and Effective Equality ]
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Always Under Construction!
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Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
Race, Racism and American Law
(1993)