General Debate Under Item 9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Thank you Mr. President,
This is a joint statement by International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ).
We believe that it is high time to implement the programme of activities set forth in the International Decade for People of African Descent, particularly on capacity-building, empowerment, and awareness raising. In past years there have been numerous consultations but not enough substantive results. The more time given to discussions on informalities, language, and other such matters we forget there are people relying on our diligent support and protection.
There is a shared concern over the lack of activities and mandate of the independent experts and the working group. Moreover, we fail to see the relevance of an eminent independent expert as they lack resources, have no secretariat support and do not hold annual meetings.
While the addition of a forum, as discussed in recent meetings, may be of added value we must take into consideration implementation strategies. Civil society organisations are particularly concerned whether relevant parties to the establishment and modalities of the forum are prepared to provide the necessary funding for its proper functioning. Additional costs must be considered and co-sponsors to the Durban Declaration must be ready to cover such costs if the forum is even to be discussed at this point.
Lastly, more attention must be paid to the visibility of the International Decade, the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and people of African descent through various types of media, campaigns, and promotion of already published materials.