Annan assesses Durban Conference Against Racism

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan has regretted the disagreements "on one or two highly emotional issues" particularly that on the Middle East, which "obscured the solid work" of the just-ended Durban World Conference Against Racism.
He, however, said he was "pleased" with the agreement reached by the UN Conference, which ended Saturday in the South African port city.
Alluding to the trial of strength by several delegations, the UN Chief said in a statement received Tuesday that the UN was "the mirror of the world," reflecting "what divides us and what unites us".
"This can be painful, but it is sometimes necessary, since it is only when we are aware of our divisions that we are able to overcome them," Annan said, in a reference to the withdrawal of the American and Israeli delegations from the Conference.
He said that in the Durban Declaration, the international community, has an appeal for action against racism and a programme of action.
"These documents do not contain everything that many people would have loved to have in them, but they certainly contain elements that others would have preferred not to see in them," Annan added.
He described the Declaration as "a message of hope" to all those fighting against racism around the world, and urged governments to work with "these courageous persons" and ensure that their commitments were put to practice.
Annan thanked the host South Africa, and all the other delegations which, he said, worked day and night to obtain the final compromise.
He singled out for praise, Conference Chair and South African Foreign Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as well as UN Human Rights Chief, Mary Robinson, and her team for the enormous efforts deployed over the past two years on the Conference.

11 september 2001 12:20:00

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