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WORD 39k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B5-0605/2001
27 September 2001
PE 309.490
further to the Council and Commission statements
pursuant to Rule 37(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Cristiana Muscardini and Niall Andrews
on behalf of the UEN Group
on the outcome of the Durban World Conference against Racism

European Parliament resolution on the outcome of the Durban World Conference against Racism 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the decision taken by the United Nations in 1997 to convene a World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance no later than 2001,

–  having regard to the subsequent Declaration adopted in Durban on 8 September 2001 at the World Conference,

A.  whereas the European Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,

B.  whereas racism and xenophobia are incompatible with these principles,

C.  whereas the European Union and the Member States are committed to tackling racism at every level,

D.  whereas the purpose of the World Conference was to focus on action-oriented and practical steps to eradicate racism, including measures of prevention, education, protection and the provision of effective remedies,

E.  whereas the Community contributed EUR 3.6 million to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to support the participation of NGOs in the preparatory process and the World Conference itself,

F.  whereas up to the last minute the outcome of the conference was severely jeopardised by serious disagreement on the sensitive issues of slavery, colonialism and the Arab-Israeli conflict and whereas numerous non-governmental organisations had to distance themselves from a final document agreed by a parallel NGO conference concerning the Israeli-Arab conflict,

G.  whereas the Member States are committed to tackling illegal immigration in a humane way by combating the criminal networks operating across borders which are exploiting human poverty and vulnerable women and children,

H.  whereas the European Union played an important role in helping to ensure the adoption at the very last moment of a Declaration Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance,

1.  Considers that in the light of the importance and scope of the Durban Conference on Racism and in view of the very public and regrettable difficulties that arose at different levels during the lengthy negotiating process, it would have been preferable if more preparatory work had been carried out in advance to secure unanimous agreement on the final conclusions;

2.  Endorses the view that the fight against racism is a matter of priority for the international community and that special attention must be paid to the victims of racism;

3.  Recognises that the process of globalisation constitutes a powerful and dynamic force which needs to be utilised for the benefit, development and prosperity of all countries, without exclusion, and points out that developing countries have special difficulties in responding to this challenge, which need to be addressed;

4.  Welcomes the affirmation in the Declaration of the urgent need to prevent, combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children;

5.  Notes with concern the large number of children and young people, particularly girls, who are among the victims of racism and supports the need for special measures aimed at ensuring that the best interests of children are looked after;

6.  Shares the concerns expressed in the Declaration about the improper use of new information technologies, including the Internet, for purposes entirely at odds with respect for human values, and stresses the importance of using such technologies to contribute to the fight against racism;

7.  Highlights the fact that the Durban conference has focused attention on the gender dimension of racism and that there is an urgent need to tackle the linkages between gender, racism and poverty;

8.  Draws attention to the need for a comprehensive follow-up to the conference at all levels and considers that civil society can play a useful role in working with governments in the coming years in relation to the implementation of the many recommendations agreed in the Durban Declaration;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States and the United Nations.

Last updated: 6 April 2004Legal notice