UNDP spotlights link between human rights and development

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- The UN Development Programme has underscored the need for concrete steps against intolerance and racial discrimination to help the world meet development targets at the World Conference Against Racism which began Sunday in Durban, South Africa.
"The impact of racism and discrimination is clear and far- reaching," said UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown.
Historically, racism has robbed people of their potential and of the opportunity to pursue their dreams, he said.
"In millions of cases it has cost them their lives.
Africa has suffered the greatest burden in this regard.
"Today, intolerance is a factor, which is slowing our march towards a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable world," added the Brown, who is leading a UNDP delegation to the meeting, officially known as the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is secretary general of the conference, which ends on 7 September.
UNDP understands the inextricable link between human rights and human development, said the Administrator, and has adopted a rights-based approach to development.
"This approach places people at the centre of our efforts to address their economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights," he said.
Through its Human Rights Strengthening Programme (HURIST), implemented in collaboration with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNDP is currently helping to strengthen support for human rights among people and institutions in 26 developing countries.
In Yemen, for example, it is encouraging the incorporation of a rights perspective in the National Development Plan.
As part of its post-conflict activities designed to prevent the recurrence of armed conflict, UNDP is launching a pilot programme in Niger to reduce the proliferation of small arms while combating poverty in the southern region of the country.
In Guatemala, through its Small Grants Programmes, UNDP is helping community leaders, indigenous people's representatives and government authorities find innovative ways of resolving conflicts arising out of socio-environmental issues.
UNDP is sponsoring several events at the Durban conference.
At a round table on globalisation, racism and development, held at the NGO Forum Sunday, speakers representing NGOs in Colombia, India and Zambia discussed how globalisation and some economic development policies have fostered contemporary forms of racism and outlined strategies for change.

03 september 2001 21:45:00

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