Human Rights Commissioner Says WCAR Goals Attainable

Durban- South Africa (PANA) -- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson says despite the withdrawal of the US and Israeli delegations from the World Conference Against Racism, she is confident that the conference will achieve its mandate.
Addressing a news conference Tuesday, Robinson said that while it was regrettable that the US and Israel had decided to withdraw, delegates have already chalked up remarkable successes.
"We need to recognise the richness and diversity of the discussions that have taken place.
The silence has been broken, and we are learning that every country has problems with racism.
The goal of this conference is to ensure that every country taking part reaches an agreement on how to overcome it," she said.
Robinson said the preparatory process leading up to the conference, though difficult, has begun to produce tangible results.
"It has brought to light the plight of numerous groups, and drawn forth a broad range of proposals which have the capacity to bring tangible relief to the victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
"The texts already adopted during the preparatory process and at this Conference so far are constructive.
The process is continuing", she said.
On three groups of difficult issues related to claims for past injustices, the situation in the Middle East, and recital of grounds of discrimination, Robinson said serious informal processes were under way - "in some instances at the highest levels".

04 september 2001 12:24:00

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