Zuma hopeful of breakthrough against global racism

Durban- South Africa (PANA) -- South African Vice-President Jacob Zuma on Sunday said that his government wass hopeful that delegates attending the World Conference Against Racism would be able to agree on a number of contentious issues of the agenda.
Zuma, who was addressing delegates during a plenary session, said they should not avoid confronting critical and difficult issues in the hope that they will disappear.
"We want to argue that the conference should speak out on the linkage between past injustices and the causes of poverty, underdevelopment and marginalisation".
He said delegates are mindful of the untold damages caused by slavery and colonialism in the developing world.
Socio- economic inequalities and poverty, which were deeply rooted in the history of slavery and colonialism, worsened racial divisions, discrimination and related intolerances, said Zuma.
"By implementing the programme of action and declaration that will emerge from this conference, we will be ensuring that this new millennium becomes one in which we place value on people.
Not because of their race, colour, creed or status in life, but because of their status as human beings".
He said the conference has a lot of relevance to South Africa, given the country's own struggle against apartheid and institutionalised racism.
"Having learnt from that painful experience, we have put in place mechanisms of ensuring that racism is removed from our statute books forever.
We have a constitution that lays a strong foundation as it enshrines and champions the causes of democracy, equality, liberty, development, justice, freedom and responsibility," he added.

02 september 2001 15:06:00

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