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WORD 42k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B5-0605/2001
27 September 2001
PE 309.492
further to the Council and Commission statements
pursuant to Rule 37(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Alima Boumediene-Thiery, Patsy Sörensen, Jean Lambert, Kathalijne Maria Buitenweg and Elisabeth Schroedter
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
on the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

European Parliament resolution on the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the declaration adopted on 8 September 2001 at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 16 May 2001 and 21 September 2001 on the World Conference against Racism,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 16 March 2000 on racism and xenophobia in the Union,

–  having regard to Article 13 of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to the reports of its Committees of Inquiry into Racism and Xenophobia in Europe,

A.  whereas racism and xenophobia represent a major problem in the world, and particularly in Europe,

B.  whereas in society groups of individuals such as ethnic and religious minorities, immigrants, refugees and women are particularly affected in their lives by racism, xenophobia and intolerance and are victims of racist acts and attacks,

C.  whereas one of the roots of racism lies in the colonial histories of the Member States, and whereas the European Union therefore bears a particular responsibility in combating this problem,

D.  having regard to the legitimate wish of the African countries to have the slave trade recognised as a crime against humanity and their consequent calls for apologies and reparations from the Western countries which benefited from this trade,

E.  whereas the Holocaust was a tragic episode in recent European history and forms part of our collective memory,

F.  whereas Europe is today a witness to ethnic and religious conflicts in the Balkans which have taken the form of genocide, and from which a new definition of racist acts - ‘ethnic cleansing’ - has emerged,

G.  whereas social and political institutions play an important role in fighting racism, xenophobia and intolerance,

H.  whereas racism and xenophobia form the political foundation of certain political parties in Europe such as the Front National in France, the FPÖ in Austria, the Vlaams Blok in Belgium and the Lega Nord in Italy, and whereas these parties thus contribute directly to reinforcing racism in Europe,

I.  whereas equal rights and individual freedoms form the basis of a democratic society, and all individuals, whatever ethnic, religious or social group they belong to, and of whatever sex, sexual orientation or age, are entitled to equal treatment,

J.  acknowledging that the debate’s concentration on the Middle East and the slave trade is evidence of the great importance attached to these two subjects by many of the delegations meeting in Durban, but regretting that as a result other important questions such as the situation of refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers, women and lower castes, which are part of racial discrimination, xenophobia and ethnic intolerance in the world, did not receive the attention they deserve,

K.  welcoming the fact that the Durban conference was the first UN world conference against racism which ended in a compromise enabling a declaration and an action programme to be adopted,

1.  Welcomes the final declaration and the action programme in which the signatory States undertake to combat racism in everyday life in all its forms by reinforcing existing legislation and adopting new laws;

2.  Calls on the Member States of the Union to follow up these decisions and to take their responsibilities seriously with a view to putting an end to racism, xenophobia and intolerance in the world;

3.  Regrets that the United States and Israel withdrew early from the conference;

4.  Reaffirms its conviction that political will is the main requirement in the fight against racism, xenophobia and intolerance, and condemns political parties and States that use racism, apartheid or other contemporary forms of racial discrimination as instruments of their policies;

5.  Calls on the Member States to guarantee equal rights for all citizens living in Europe, whatever their nationality, including minorities, immigrants and refugees;

6.  Calls on the Commission to consider the measures against racism as a principal aspect of the Union’s enlargement policy;

7.  Calls on the signatories of the action programme to demonstrate their commitment through practical measures, including a public campaign against racism, to be incorporated into school curricula and propagated through the media;

8.  Calls on the Member States to assume the responsibilities deriving from their colonial history, which is one of the causes of the current state of underdevelopment, famine, conflict and democratic deficit which many third-world countries face;

9.  Welcomes the recognition of the slave trade as a crime against humanity, notes the deep regret expressed by the European Union for the human suffering caused by slavery, the slave trade, colonialism and genocide, and takes the view that there can be no crime of this scale which does not call for reparation;

10.  Appeals to the Governments of the European Union and the United States to initiate a dialogue with the victims of the slave trade with a view to finding a solution to the complex, unresolved problem of reparation for the damage done;

11.  Calls for the setting up of an international commission with the task of studying appropriate forms of reparation for the victims of slavery, looking into all the problems involved, including their social and economic marginalisation;

12.  Takes the view that increased development aid and cancellation of the developing countries’ debt are a sine qua non if the effects of the marginalisation brought about by globalisation are to be redressed, and that they should not, and can in no circumstances, be seen as reparation for slavery and colonialism;

13.  Stresses the Conference’s conclusions on the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the creation of an independent State, and the right to security of all States in the region, including Israel;

14.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments of the Member States and applicant countries, and the Government of the United States.

Last updated: 6 April 2004Legal notice