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Statement By Mr. Xie Bohua, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of China on Item 117 at the Third Committee of the 56th Session of the General Assembly

2002/01/28

Mr. Chairman:

Racism is one of the grossest violations of human rights. Despite the constant uncompromising struggle waged by the peoples of the world against the phenomenon, various forms of racism still persist in many parts of the world today. The convening of the World Conference against Racism last September in South Africa, a country rich in anti-racism tradition, was of great historic significance. We are convinced that the conference will be a major impetus to the fight against racism.

During the conference, delegates presented many important ideas on strategies and measures to eliminate racism and adopted the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action finally. The international community is now faced with the important task of finding ways and means to implement the outcome of the conference. The Chinese delegation would like to make the following comments in this regard.

1.Nations of the world should demonstrate their political will to seize the opportunity offered by the conference. Guided by the UN Charter, the recognized norms of international law and the principles enunciated in the final outcome of the conference, and on the basis of mutual respect and learning from each other as equals, all countries should commit themselves to an unstinting fight against all form of racism, the complete elimination of the root causes of old and new manifestations of racism and the establishment of a new international political and economic order which is just and equitable so that people, regardless of their color, race, language or cultural backgrounds, will be truly able to live together in an ideal environment characterized by peace and equality.

2. The UN General Assembly and other relevant bodies should take effective measures to ensue the follow-up of the conference a success so that its positive outcome can truly be translated into concrete action against racism. As an important body in the UN system entrusted with the promotion and protection of human rights, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights assumes an important function of coordinating international efforts to combat racism. We hope that the OHCHR will consult widely when it formulates its programme of work in this area and equip it with adequate human, material and financial resources to bring about constant progress in the fight against racism.

3. Colonialism, foreign occupation, the slave trade and apartheid are all typical manifestations of racism that wreaked havoc on the countries and peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America in the past. We call on those countries that subjected other countries to aggression, colonial rule or enslavement in the past to face up to historical reality, learn from past mistakes and take effective measures to help developing countries to overcome as soon as possible economic backwardness and the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

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