Flame of hope for World Conference Against Racism

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- Two weeks to the start of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africans have been urged to express their opposition to racism by lighting candles, torches or lanterns and switching on their car headlights at noon next Tuesday.
This is to show the country's commitment to tolerance ahead of the 28 August-7September World Conference, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad said Monday.
"If every South African participates in this event, once again we would have demonstrated to the world that we are committed to the fight for a better world for all," he added.
The government's programme under the theme "Tolerance and Diversity: A vision for the 21st Century," is aimed at ensuring broader mobilisation and communication around the World Conference Against Racism.
Next Tuesday, mayors of municipalities around the country will light the flame after a march to the city or town centres.
The flame will burn until the official end of the Conference.
National rallies will also be addressed by speakers from different political persuasion.
"We urge all South Africans, black and white from all walks of life, to join in this event of hope.
We appeal to the Churches to ring the bells at midday in solidarity with everyone in the country.
Motorists are urged to light their headlights in harmony with all other South Africans," Pahad said.
He encouraged Municipalities and organisations to engage in appropriate activities to inform people about the World Conference Against Racism.
"Let us truly make tolerance and diversity the vision for the 21st century through this national event led by our mayors and community leaders," the Minister added.
A "Global March Against Racism" is planned for 1 September in Durban.
Pahad appealed that the events be conducted peacefully so that the issues will be focused on by the media and role-players and not the demonstrations themselves.
Some 12,000 delegates, including heads of State and Ministers are expected to attend the Conference, the third organised by the UN after the first in 1978 and the second in 1983, both in Geneva.

14 august 2001 10:28:00

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