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Programme of Action - Guiding Principles

NGO Forum, World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa, August 27-Sept 1, 2001

This page is part of much larger document. Please be sure to read the Overview, the Declaration-Guiding Principles, Programme of Action-Guiding Principles, and Programme of Action - Legal Measures which provide the context for understanding this page. Click here to Download Word Document.



194. Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are forms of discrimination based on historically unjust social, economic and political orders. These phenomena mutate, re-invent and continue to manifest themselves in contemporary societies, causing severe psychological scars and perpetuating deep inequality and poverty. Therefore, this Programme of Action, whilst acknowledging the past and its impact on the present, is forward looking, and requires a concerted and sustained effort from members of the global community in order to succeed.

195. Racism and racial discrimination are founded on ideologies of racial supremacy that have historically and systematically denied certain groups of people full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The restoration of dignity to those who have suffered the consequences of these ideologies is central to our humanity.

196. The proliferation of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance is sustained by a lack of political will on the part of governments and other political, economic and social actors. This indicates the magnitude of the task and the difficulties that lie ahead in eradicating racism.

197. The eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, particularly contemporary forms of slavery, calls for a radical transformation of society, and for a re-ordering of global institutions which are presently dominated by rich countries and which have created a framework within which racist and other discriminatory practices can continue to flourish.

198. Within this context, the UN should, as a priority, initiate and engage in a process of restructuring that could more effectively implement the universal values of equality and justice as envisaged by the UN Charter, and work towards redressing current imbalances in global structures with a focus on addressing the core issue of poverty and inequality.

199. In light of the above, the NGO Forum for the WCAR salutes the courage of all those who have resisted and who continue to resist racism and all other forms of discrimination and commits to support all efforts aimed at redressing past and present violations through reparations and other remedies, based on the acknowledgement of racism derived from historical privileges and prevailing in every part and country of the world.

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