Stand Against Racism
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Women's International League for Peace and Freedom :)
The United States Section of WILPF :)
Take a Stand Against Racism
United Against Racism: Dignity and Justice for All
Beginning on April 20, representatives of United Nations member states and non-governmental organizations will begin meeting in Geneva, Switzerland to review progress in eradicating racism and xenophobia, by addressing its root causes. But, the United States will not be there.
The Durban Review Conference is the follow up to the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR). This was a landmark event in the struggle to improveDurban Conference Logo the lives of millions of human beings around the world who are victims of racial discrimination and intolerance. The Conference adopted by consensus the ground-breaking Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), which provided an important new framework for guiding governments, non-governmental organizations and other institutions in their efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Given the brutal history of slavery and the legacy of Jim Crow in the United States, President Obama's administration could have much to contribute to the Durban Review. A policy of engagement requires discussion with governments and institutions, even if one does not agree on all points. The discussions taking place during the Durban Review can and should inspire and deepen our national conversation about the persistence of racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances in the United States and inform our action plans for ending these phenomenon.
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is committed to spreading word about the significance of the Durban Review to the people of the United States, and enlisting their help in persuading our government that it ought to participate. Use this link to send a letter to President Obama:
As an international non-governmental organization with consultative status at the United Nations, WILPF will be actively seeking to shape the outcomes of the Durban Review. Our priorities for international action are:
* WILPF calls for clear affirmation that the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the enslavement of Africans and African descendants constitute crimes against humanity.
* WILPF calls on the Durban Review to recognize the discrimination against the Palestinian people and affirm their right to self-determination as well as the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and receive compensation.
* WILPF calls for the affirmation of the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination. We call on all States to respect the cultures of indigenous peoples, their right to use their own languages and to have their own forms of organization.
* WILPF calls for international trade and financial arrangements that are based on equity and just economic relations to achieve genuine development, benefiting all peoples regardless of their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender or belief.
* WILPF recognizes that migration, and particularly labor migration, is not a choice but a necessity for most migrants and their families in order to survive massive poverty, ethnic or gender-based violence, armed conflict, or displacement. States must adhere to international conventions when receiving migrants.
* WILPF calls on States to implement the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 21, 1965, as well as all other international human rights instruments pertaining to the elimination of discrimination, the protection of minorities and all other vulnerable groups.
I urge the administration to reverse its earlier decision not to participate in the Durban Review Conference and instead to work with Non-Governmental Organizations and the press to ensure that the Conference deliberations inspire and inform our own national conversation on racism and xenophobia going forward.
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