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Published on Dec 7, 2016
International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
General debate under agenda item 9 - Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Joint Statement delivered by Mr. Jan Lönn
I speak on behalf of 12 NGOs who wish to express their grave concern over the absence of the Human Rights Council’s engagement against racism at this session.
It is inexplicable that the Council will not adopt any annual resolution in 2016 on combating racism and implementing the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) despite that the General Assembly has specifically entrusted the Human Rights Council with the responsibility to guide the implementation of the DDPA.
This silence of the OHCHR on the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the DDPA is deeply alarming as it sends a dangerous message to Member States and the global public that the implementation of the DDPA is of little importance. It is a devastating message to the victims of racism and xenophobia in this year of crisis and needs to be urgently corrected.
The Intergovernmental Working Group for DDPA Implementation made a series of recommendations to the OHCHR for the commemoration of the 15th Anniversary with high visibility. Not a single of those recommendations has been implemented.
The General Assembly has repeatedly requested the Human Rights Council to adopt a multi-year outreach programme to inform and mobilize the global public in support of the DDPA. We call on the Council to adopt their requested programme as a priority matter at its 34th session, and we assure the Council of our determination to contribute to that process.
We call on the OHCHR to mount a year-end publicity campaign to sensitize the global public on the historic importance of the DDPA and commemorate its 15th anniversary with high visibility.