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Durban Review ConferenceDate: 2009-04-24
Author: Gherush92 Committee for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity Caucus
first of all we express our concern and disappointment at the fact that the final declaration was approved before listening to the proposals of the civil society.
We think that this fact could represent a deep crisis in mantaining an appropriate relationship between civil society and states.
Furthermore we consider the final document of this conference inadequate to fight centuries of racism because it does not analyze the problem in its historical context.
For example October 12th , Columbus Day, the anniversary of the landing in America of Columbus in 1492, is celebrated as a national holiday in many countries of Americas and Europe.
What really happened at that time is that the Queen Isabel of Castille issued the edicts of expulsion of Jews, Islamic Moors and Roma people from Spain and from many places in Europe and began a campaign of genocide of the Indians of America, setting up the base for the mass transatlantic slave trade of Africans.
Today, after more than 500 years, the victims of the racism are still the same and the consequences of those criminal acts are still an endless source of conflicts and suffering for all the poupulations involved.
See for example what is happening in Rwanda and Darfour, and the persistence of the problem of Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism against Indigenous People and the shameful and humiliating situation of Roma people in Europe.
The celebration of Columbus Day and the process of canonization of Isabel of Castille represent the celebration of the massacre of millions of Indigenous peoples and a violation of human rights.
our main activity is the creation and population of a database on the subjet of cultural diversity, racism and human rights with the collection of historical and current documents and record of events. The database will faithfully represent the condition of the victims and allow the identification of the responsibilities of racism
Furthemore, as effective means to fight racism and discrimination we propose:
- To stop celebrating October 12.
- An international Convention against crime of Anti-Semitism.
- An international Convention against crime of Anti–Romanism.
- Guidelines for the Protection of Cultural Diversity.
We are ready to cooperate on these proposals.