On the 10th Anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa

23 September 2011

MEDIA ADVISORY from US Human Rights Network

Former UN Assistant Secretary General for the Center Against Apartheid, E.S. Reddy, opens the Durban +10 Coalition program on the 10th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA).

 New York City – The Durban +10 Coalition, convened by the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) and World Against Racism Network (WARN), ran its grassroots anti-racist program in NYC from September 19-21, 2011. The program opened with the words of E. S. Reddy, former UN Assistant Secretary General for the Center Against Apartheid:

We are not looking to persuade Western governments that ending racism is to their advantage. These governments and the corporations that they support and are supported by profit from global racism. We want to communicate to them that this is a war – a war for our basic human rights and dignity. We want to work with students and communities to raise hell, we want to go to local and state governments and raise hell, and we want to raise hell on national and international levels as well.

Indeed, the execution of Troy Davis on the eve of the anniversary of the DDPA nonetheless, could be read as a blatant exercise of white supremacy by sectors of the US government – an unapologetic willingness to continue its long history of institutionalized racism.

In the words of Mireille Fanon-Mendes, of the Frantz Fanon Foundation and Member of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and daughter of Algerian revolutionary and famed author Frantz Fanon:

Human rights law should be an instrument of transformation. The law is transformed by how it is used and interpreted. How can we move the law? The law is between our hands, it is not in the hands of the State alone.

Yesterday, Thursday, September 22, the Durban + 10 Coalition participated in the UN General Assembly’s commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action with the theme “Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: recognition, justice and development.”

During the meeting the Durban + 10 Coalition secured a major victory with the reaffirmation of the DDPA in the final resolution of the General Assembly for the Commemoration. This reaffirmation was secured through months of advocacy by the many organizations of the Durban + 10 Coalition to counter the massive disinformation campaign against the DDPA and the WCAR.

The Durban + 10 Coalition unequivocally supports and embraces the advances embodied in the DDPA, and is dedicated to ensuring that the DDPA remains the cornerstone of the UN’s program to combat racism. We see the DDPA as central to pressuring the governments of the world to adopt and thoroughly implement national plans of action to eradicate racial discrimination, inequity, colonialism, xenophobia and related intolerances.

We further stand opposed to the slander and sabotage against the DDPA and 10th anniversary spearheaded by the United States, Canada, Israel and several members of the European Union, particularly Italy, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic, to suppress the rights and demands of the many groups protected by the DDPA, including Migrants, Indigenous Peoples, African and African descendant peoples for restitution and reparations and those of the Palestinian people for self-determination.

In preparation for the 15th anniversary of the DDPA, the Durban +10 Coalition intends to implement a program of public education. We demand that the UN General Assembly fulfill its obligation to disseminate the DDPA document far and wide and apply the unspent $90,000 earmarked for the DDPA commemoration to DDPA public education efforts.

For more information on the Durban + 10 Coalition please email durban10coalition@gmail.com or visit www.durban10coalition.com

The endorsing organizations of the Durban + 10 Coalition include the US Human Rights Network, National Lawyers Guild, World Against Racism Network, December 12th Movement, National Black United Front, Malcolm  X Grassroots Movement, Durban Declaration and Programme of Action Watch Group, US Palestinian Community Network, African Canadian Legal Clinic, Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination, Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights, Priority Africa Network, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Mouvement International pour les Reparations, Black Workers for Justice, North Carolina Public Service Workers Union – UE Local 150, International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and Black Left Unity Network. 

For interviews or further information, please contact:

Kali Akuno, USHRN Co-Director: 510.593.3956

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