Durban conference in halting pace

Durban- South Africa (PANA) -- Notwithstanding the delivery of about 60 speeches highlighting efforts at national and regional levels to contain the vice, the World Conference against Racism (WCAR) underway in Durban, South Africa since Friday, has made little progress.
Deliberations in two working groups drafting the Final Declaration and defining an action plan were being bogged down by "the non-cooperative attitude of some western countries".
By Saturday only two paragraphs in the draft Action Plan had been deliberated, out of a possible 229.
Some eight of them, touching on issues such as reparations on Slave Trade and colonisation, and the equation of Zionism to racism have left the drafting group into total disarray.
But members of the African Group maintain that Western delegates were calculatedly dragging on discussions so as to force up a last-minute rush and consequent adoption of an "empty document".
A common resolve among African speakers, however, has been to guard against letting divergences on the issue of reparations divide their ranks, or cause division between Africa and the Black Diaspora.
Furthermore, in a drag blamed on disagreements over form and content, an NGO forum that wound up on Saturday, as well as a Youth Summit that preceded it, were as of Sunday morning still to submit their respective declarations.

02 september 2001 18:08:00

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