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Wednesday 26 July

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Participation in the Sixth Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Du

Even the UN cannot cope with racism

 

Staff members of the Center for Interethnic Cooperation took part in the work of the Sixth Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action devoted to the confrontation with racism and xenophobia.

Unfortunately, the Working Group has spent a lot of time to agree on the final text and actually not discussed the situation in different countries and continents. We got the impression that the distinguished members of the Working group – representatives of State structures, members of the United Nations – cared more about the interests of their States than to think about the causes of increasing racism and xenophobia in many and primarily developed countries. For example the EU member countries tried to avoid the analysis of the situation in different countries because in namely the member countries of the European Union can be observed the biggest surge of racism.

 

A group of African countries periodically tried to raise the question about the payment of compensation of the developed countries for the period of slavery. Some Muslim countries proposed to include in the final document a point condemning caricatures on religious values – consequence of the “cartoons controversy”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had prepared a rather detailed statement which was passed to the secretariat of the Working Group and devoted to the analysis of the situation in Russia and Europe. We said in our statement that the situation with racism and xenophobia is not only not improving, but deteriorated noticeably. Therefore this question has to be examined in the General Assembly of the United Nations with the participation of the heads of States; otherwise all good wishes remain on paper again.

According to the recommendation of the Working Group, in 2009 is planned a conference on the results of the implementation of the Durban Word Conference. But our experience of the participation in the Working Group show that a conference can be a rather formal action if there is no active participation of stakeholder like NGOs which confront racism and xenophobia. We believe that – at least in Europe – it is reasonable to organise an alternative conference with the aim to analyse the situation in different countries and to develop recommendations for the upcoming World Conference. As our organisation obtained Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, we are allowed to take part in the upcoming sessions of the Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action devoted to confront racism and xenophobia. And we will try to do everything that is possible that the interests of NGOs are adequately represented in those Working Groups.