Durban conference ready to make concessions

Durban- South Africa (PANA) -- The World Conference against Racism, under way in Durban since Friday, made substantial progress at the end of its fifth day.
The trial of strength between advocates of "compensation for past injustices" and "the comparison of political Zionism to racism" on the one hand, and their detractors on the other hand, have become less intense.
Tuesday, a day after the withdrawal of the United States and Israeli delegations, the deliberations in the two working groups suddenly accelerated for the first time.
Group Two, known to be difficult because it is in charge of examining the draft Plan of Action, was able to adopt about six or seven paragraphs during the last hour of the evening session, while only eight paragraphs had been approved since Friday.
Delegates who preferred to remain unnamed told PANA that the easing of the situation was due to several factors.
The first can be explained by "a spurt of effort by the most positive delegates who were suddenly aware of the reality of the threats hanging over the conference" after the double withdrawal the previous day.
More objective measures have also been taken to usher in the process.
They were first in the form of appeals to listen to the voice of reason, launched by South African Foreign Minister Nkossazana Dlamini Zuma and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (secretary general of the conference).
Zuma reminded delegates of the hopes that the wretched of the earth legitimately place in this conference.
"Millions of people throughout the world, confronted daily with problems of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, have their eyes set on this conference and expect our efforts to provide them tomorrow with additional reasons and means to fight".
For her part, Robinson, vigorously protested against "all the racist and extremist words heard in Durban" since the opening of the conference, paradoxically meant to fight against these deviations.
These appeals did not go unheeded.
They inspired a change in working methods with the reduction of hours devoted to the general debate and the opening of consultations.

05 september 2001 12:37:00

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