In the very first year of the new millenium, the long-awaited World Conference against Racism will be held in Durban, South Africa. We are pleased to note that, in preparation for the World Conference, relevant activities have been carried out at the international, regional, national and non-governmental levels. All regional preparatory meetings have now come to a successful conclusion, producing many valuable proposals based on the special characteristics of each region. We appreciate the efforts made by all the parties for the success of the Conference and would like to take this opportunity to make the following comments.
First, The Conference should review the historical experiences and, on that basis, formulate new strategies to combat racism in the new millenium. Since its inception, the United Nations has made unremitting efforts to combat such gross violations of human rights as racism and racial discrimination and has accumulated much experience. Now, Apartheid has already been eliminated and we have achieved a huge victory in the world's fight against racism. However, the evil remnants of racism and racial discrimination are now far from being completely removed, and in some cases, are widely found. The new forms of racism such as xenophobia, discrimination again immigrant workers and neo-Fascism, which are appearing in some western developed countries, are posing a grave challenge to the international cause of human rights protection and the effort to combat racism. The Conference should be an opportunity to pool our wisdom, take stock of historic experiences and, in light of the characteristics of the current situation, formulate our goals and action-oriented measures for combating and eliminating completely racism in the new millenium.
Secondly, Top priority should be given to addressing the urgent issues facing the international community, especially the developing countries. We are living in a world where the majority of the countries are developing countries. Colonialism, slave trade, racism and racial discrimination, which existed in human history, have created major adverse effects on the development of these countries and the people there are still recovering from the resultant psychological injuries. Nowadays, the economic globalization that is sweeping across the world has created shocks to developing countries, among which many are facing grave challenges to their national sovereignty and economic security and are being marginalized. It is quite reasonable for the developing countries to make demands for exposing and criticizing the crimes of colonialism, for providing compensation and remedies for the victims of racism, and for establishing at an early date a new international political, economic order. It is our hope that the Conference can reflect these appeals and make some progress in addressing these issues.
Thirdly, Parties concerned should demonstrate their political will and flexibility to ensure smooth development of the preparation process of the Conference. The Conference against Racism is a major event of the new millenium and is attracting worldwide attention. However, the drafting of the Declaration and the Program of Action, which reflects the achievements of the Conference, is now proceeding very slowly. Some countries are trying all possible means to dilute the significance of the Conference and weaken the Declaration and the Program of Action. We are opposed to these attempts. We are of the view that these practices are not conducive to consolidating and developing the achievements scored by the international community in their fight against racism or to the future efforts of the international community in this connection. We appeal to these countries to fully demonstrate their political will and flexibility and adopt a positive attitude so as to create necessary conditions for the successful convocation of the Conference.
Fourthly, Equal and effective participation of all parties in the Conference and its preparatory process is indispensable to the final success of the Conference. We appreciate the positive contribution made by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to the success of the Conference and have taken note that relevant organizing mechanism has been set up. We hope that they will continue their efforts and succeed in this endeavor. In the mean time, it is also our hope that, as the Secretariat of the Conference, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Preparatory Committee of the Conference should handle the NGOs' application for attending the Conference in strict accordance with the ECOSOC resolution 1996/31 and prevent those NGOs that do not meet the criteria from interfering with the Conference.
China was among the first countries to sign the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and has supported and participated in the activities of the UN three Decades for combating racism and racial Discrimination. The Chinese government has taken an active part in the various preparatory work of the World Conference against Racism and has made its financial contribution to the Conference. We are also organizing some activities at the national level in support of the preparatory process of the Conference. The Chinese government is ready to work together with other countries for the full success of the Conference and to make our own contribution to the world drive against racism.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.