Summary: Workshop on racism and discrimination: strengthening the cooperation
||19 July 2002, 09:00-12:30 vk
Moderator(s):|| • Mr. Jean Jacques Kirkyacharians|
Presenters/ Participants:|| • Ms. Sandra Aragon, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR)|
• Ms. Mililani Trask, Na Koa Ikaika O Ka Lahui Hawaii (NHLI)
• Ms. Leonor Zalabata, Confederación Indigena Tayrona
• Prasad Sirvella Deva, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
• Ms. Joan Grant Cummings, Coalition for Community Participation in Governance
• Mr. Prasad Sirvella Deva, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
||Julia Richter (ICVolunteers)
||Durban, Africa, indigenous people, discrimination, racism
As a way to look forward to the next steps after the Durban conference, Mr. Jean
Jacques Kirkyacharians underlined the importance to fight discrimination and racism introduced the speakers, who presented different issues referring to the problems in Africa, Latin-America and India.
Ms. Aragon underlined, that the world had changed after September 11, 2001 and that right now the policies of many states are wrong and unacceptable. She pointed out, that,
while criticized by some, the 2001 Durban Conference had resulted in the
adoption of documents, such as the Programme of Action and the Declaration, which was a major achievement and a comment language was found.
Ms. Grant Cummings was also referring to Durban, especially with respect to the role of the African people. She said, that until then, governments had refused to
admit a link between the present and the past of Africans and that they now had to put up with it. Some governments still have not taken Durban and the Declaration seriously, but the information coming out of Durban has been kept alive.
Ms. Mililani Trask described in a detailed way what had been accomplished in Durban, referring especially to indigenous issues. The way leading up to Durban had been hard and has been undertaken by those, who have always done in the past. She especially pointed out, that the historical misunderstanding had been overcome in Durban and that now there was a strong link between indigenous people, Africans and black Americans and Canadians. She underlined that
racism is based on the history marked by colonisation of the old European
colonies. She stressed the need to understand this history and was referring to is the inequality of the economy in the world.
Prasad Sirvella Deva of the International Movement Against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
introduced some experiences referring to India. He referred to the economical and political system in
India, explaining that there were many people suffering every day in India.
Ms. Leonor Zalabata of Confederation Indigena Tayrona described in a detailed
way the issues of indigenous people and how they have to put up with discrimination. She referred to the economical and political differences and that there needs to be equality among the people and an international cooperation, which should transform its policies to avoid discrimination. She was also concerned
about the fact that many hopes of different people have not been reflected in actions after Durban.
There was a comment made by a Swiss journalist, saying that, in the frame of Durban, the problem of racism in Switzerland had been faced. He also
referred to the split of NGOs and the lack of communication among them. He also
underlined that the role of history needed to be taken into account and that discrimination was not just born with the colonisation, but already before with the
Bibel. Out of this, there are not only claims against the old European monarchies, but also against the Arab countries.
Another interesting comment was made on the situation of Russia and that there is a very strong need for NGO’s to working on this problem now, before it becomes too strong.
There was a question by a participant from Italy, who underlined, that it is difficult to follow the results of Durban, when all the documents are only in English, French and Spanish. He brought up the suggestion, that the documents should be translated.
The conclusion was made, that there has been already achieved a lot in Durban, but it was only one more step in the fight against racism and discrimination. The world finally needs to unite itself against racism and discriminations and has to struggle together.
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