THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST
RACISM FINAL PREPARATORY COMMITTEE MEETING IN GENEVA

By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (May 24, 2001)

Over the last two years, the National Black United Front (NBUF) has been working with the December12th Movement, based in Brooklyn, New York, in mobilizing and organizing to participate in the historic United Nations World Conference Against Racism that will be held in Durban, South Africa, August 31st through September 7, 2001. The focus of our organizing to participate in the conference has been centered around the following issues:

In this regard, it is only fitting that I will be joining the December 12th Movement representatives and other African activists from around the world, to participate in this final Preparatory Committee Meeting that will be held May 21st through June 1, 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland. We are going to fight for the inclusion of our interests in the final Durban Declaration that will be the basis of discussion and debate by the nations of the world at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism. We want to insure that Africa Group Resolution that advocates the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade was a Crime Against Humanity and that African people are owed reparations throughout the world, is included in the Durban Declaration.

It is truly historic that we will be leaving on May 19th, Malcolm X’s 76th Birthday. It was Malcolm who advocated that the Black Movement in this country go outside the boundaries of United States politics to the international arena and link up with other African people by organizing in the international arena to help expose the contradictions of the United States toward African people in America. I will only be able to attend the first week of the meeting May 19th – May 27th. However, our interests will be represented throughout the entire meeting.

In celebrating the 76th Anniversary of the birth of El Hajj Malik el Shabazz, Malcolm X, we heed his call to make our struggle a struggle for human rights, to bring our conditions before the court of world opinion.

For 40 million Africans in the United States and millions more in the Caribbean and South America, the burning issue is the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. Racism is the Achilles heel of the United States, which is why it has opposed the World Conference, as have the other Western powers whose wealth was built on slave labor. The United States has refused to call a national preparatory meeting for the conference, as they did for the Women’s Conference in 1995, sponsored by United Nations, in China. Indeed, it has embarked on the same strategy it used against the 1963 March On Washington. They have chosen their loyalists, Black though they may be, to exclude the grassroots, those who heed Malcolm X’s call for Black Power, Land, and Independence.

It is important to understand the background to this conference. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, through the Center for Human Rights, established for three years, in 1993, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance. The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations confirmed this mandate and assigned it to Mr. Maurice Glélé–Ahanhanzo of Benin.

At its fifty–second–session, the Commission, by resolution in 1996 expressed its full support and appreciation for the Special Rapporteur’s work and decided to extend his mandate for a period of three years.

Since the establishment of the Special Rapporteur’s Office, Mr. Glélé–Ahanhanzo offices examined racism and racial discrimination in Australia, Austria, Canada, the United States, the Russian Federation, France, Israel, Indonesia, Brazil, Italy, and many other countries.

In 1997, the Special Rapporteur’s Office observed, "that racism and racial discrimination persist in various regions of the world both in their structural, economic and social form and in the form on xenophobia. Theories of racial inequality are raising their head while at the same time modern communication technologies, especially the Internet, are being perniciously employed to foment racial hatred, xenophobia, and anti–Semitism."

In this regard, the Special Rapporteur made a number of recommendations, which have been approved by the General Assembly and the Commission. These recommendations are: "(a) to convene a world conference on racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and (b) to consider action at the international level— beginning studies, research and joint action immediately— over the use of the Internet as a vehicle for racist propaganda."

When we discuss racism, we must be clear on this term that is so widely used by so many people. Through our study groups, over the years, with Dr. Anderson Thompson, we have concluded that racism is "The direct and overall physical and psychological subordination and subjection of one racial group over another for the purpose of maximum political and economic exploitation which is based on the belief (supportable by religious doctrine or scientific data) that either because of heredity (genes, family) or culture (social environment) the dominant race in power is superior to the dominated and powerless race."

The manifestation of racism in the western European world has become institutionalized in a worldwide system of white supremacy. White supremacy continues to have a devastating impact on African people throughout the world. Our participation in the United Nations World Conference Against Racism will continue to aid in exposing white supremacy and the impact of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.

Upon my return, I will provide a full report through this column. In the name of, and in the spirit of Malcolm X, let us continue for self-determination and the liberation of African people.

 
National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)


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