Tags: U.S. | Still | Represented | U.N. | Race | Conference

U.S. Still Represented at U.N. Race Conference

Tuesday, 04 September 2001 12:00 AM

Robinson stated that the U.S. would stay until the drafting of the final declaration.

Since the U.S. and Israeli withdrawal Monday night, diplomatic efforts where put in place to safeguard the conference. Robinson stated that many nongovernmental organizations were not part of the discussions during the drafting of the NGO forum declaration and that they were not fully consulted, mainly because of language problems.

In a diplomatic effort to save the status of the conference, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South African foreign affairs, opened the debate when she announced that a completely new text would be drafted to obtain consensus among the delegates. Robinson announced this morning that these "hate speech” paragraphs attacking Israel would now be taken out and that the South Africans were tasked in compiling a new acceptable declaration.

Louis Michel, EU Council president, announced that the European Union would stay and accepted the proposal aimed at reaching consensus.

Robinson acknowledged that "it is inevitable at a conference such as this that controversy will make the headlines. I am aware of and condemn those words and actions in Durban were themselves intolerant, even racist.”

In a strong plea directed at the media, she asked that the media should focus on constructive seminars, workshops and gatherings, such as observers have seen over the past few days. She reiterated that she wanted to refer to the NGO declaration and inputs and refer delegates to their decisions. But because of all the controversy it is not possible anymore.

Robinson pledged that the purpose of this conference was to address the marginalized, the excluded and the hated, and "if we do not address these issues we have failed those who need this conference."

The conference is not yet dead, and this was shown early Tuesday when a group of about 150 indigenous people, mainly from South America, protested against Paragraph 26 and 27 of the conference draft declaration. Their objections were that these paragraphs amounted to racism and that their rights as indigenous people were not being fully recognized.

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Robinson stated that the U.S. would stay until the drafting of the final declaration. Since the U.S. and Israeli withdrawal Monday night, diplomatic efforts where put in place to safeguard the conference. Robinson stated that many nongovernmental organizations were not...
U.S.,Still,Represented,U.N.,Race,Conference
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2001-00-04
Tuesday, 04 September 2001 12:00 AM
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