International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
Agenda item 9 - Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Joint statement delivered by Mr. Boris Blasberg
Full Text of the Statement:
I am speaking on behalf of 17 organisations in this joint statement to express our grave concern over the failure to implement General Assembly resolutions regarding the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the International Decade for People of African Descent.
We had expected that high priority and great visibility be given during 2016 to the commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the DDPA by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and that the Council would have acted on the recomendations of its Intergovernmental Working Group for the Effective Implementation of the DDPA presented at its last session.
We cannot accept silence on the importance of the DDPA which implementation is more needed than ever in the alarming situation of escalating racism, xenophobia, islamophobia and afrophobia that the world is experiencing.
We call on the Human Rights Council to decide at its organisational meeting prior to the 33rd session to hold a full day discussion at its 33rd session in September on commemorating and implementing the DDPA and the programme of the International Decade for People of African Descent.
We call on the Human Rights Council at its 33rd session to do what the General Assembly has repeatedly asked it to do, namely to develop and adopt a multi-year programme of activities to provide for the renewed and strengthened outreach activities needed t o inform and mobilize the global public in support of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
We strongly deplore the decline of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent which at its last session had practically no participation of People of African Descent and civil society from outside Geneva as a result of no information provided to those most concerned.
We reiterate the call on the Human Rights Council to discontinue and transform the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent into a Permanent Forum on People of African Descent as has been repeatedly proposed by many NGOs and Member States since 2008.
We call on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to respect the decision by the General Assembly to strengthen the anti-racial discrimination work at the Office by three additional staff members to which funding was provided when the programme of activities for the International Decade was adopted in November 2014. The structures for fighting racism must not be weakened at the UN, but instead strengthened as called for by the General Assembly.
Let us use the opportunity of the 15th anniversary of the DDPA to strengthen our resolve and take concrete action for the elimination of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia.
I thank you.
27 June 2016