Full text of agreed WCAR stance on slavery

Durban- South Africa (PANA) -- Following is a full text of the document adopted on the issue of slavery after protracted negotiations that lasted until Saturday morning at the Durban World Conference against Racism: "We acknowledge that slavery and the Slave Trade, including the transatlantic slave trade, were appalling tragedies in the history of humanity not only because of their abhorrent barbarism but also in terms of their magnitude, organised nature and especially their negation of the essence of victims etc.
[We] further acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity and should always have been so, especially the transatlantic slave trade, and are among the major sources and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and that Africans and people of African descent, Asians and people of Asian descent and indigenous peoples were victims of these acts and continue to be victims of their consequences.
The World Conference recognises that colonialism has led to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and that Africans and people of African descent, and people of Asian descent and indigenous peoples were victims of colonialism and continue to be victims of its consequences.
We acknowledge the suffering caused by colonialism and affirm that, whatever and wherever it occurred, it must be condemned and its recurrence prevented.
We further regret that the effects and persistence of these structures and practices have been among the factors contributing to lasting social and economic inequalities in many parts of the world today.
The World Conference, aware of the moral obligation on the part of all concerned States, calls on these states to take appropriate and effective measures to halt and reverse the lasting consequences of those practices.
The World Conference recognises the efforts of developing countries, in particular, the commitment and the determination of the African leaders to seriously address the challenges of poverty, underdevelopment, marginalisation, social exclusion, economic disparities, instability and insecurity, through initiatives such as the New African Initiative and other innovative mechanisms such as the World Solidarity Fund for the Eradication of Poverty etc.
[It] calls upon developed countries, the United Nations and its specialised agencies as well as international financial institutions to provide, through their operational programmes, new and additional financial resources as appropriate to support these initiatives.
The World Conference recognises that these historical injustices have undeniably contributed to poverty, underdevelopment, marginalisation, social exclusion, economic disparities, instability and insecurity that affect many people in different parts of the world, in particular in developing countries.
The World Conference recognises the need to develop programmes for the social and economic development of these societies and the Diaspora within the framework of a new partnership based on the spirit of solidarity and mutual respect in the following areas: - Debt relief; - Poverty eradication; - Building or strengthening democratic institutions; - Promotion of foreign direct investment; - Market access; - Intensify efforts to meet the internationally agreed targets for Official Development Assistance (ODA) transfers to developing countries; - New Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) bridging the digital divide; - Agriculture and food security; - Transfer of technology; - Transparent and accountable governance; - Investment in health infrastructure in tackling HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, including among others through the Global AIDS and Health Fund; - Infrastructure development; - Human resource development including capacity building; - Education, training and cultural development; - Mutual legal assistance in the repatriation of illegally obtained and illegally transferred (stashed) funds in accordance with national and international instruments; - Illicit traffic in arms and light weapons; - Restitution of art objects, historical artefacts and documents to their countries of origin in accordance with bilateral agreements or international instruments; - Trafficking in persons, particularly, women and children; - Facilitation of welcomed return and resettlement of the descendants of enslaved Africans.
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08 september 2001 15:20:00




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