|Take Barack Obama speech example : appeal at UN Human Rights Council|
|Wednesday, 26 March 2008|
Answers and Final remarks by Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, H.E. Mr. Dayan Jayatilleka, under Item 9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action:
“Thank you Mr. President Ambassador Jazaïry, Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, I shall not reiterate what I said in my oral report on the 19th March. I shall content myself with just an observation or two about the discussion as it unfolded this morning. Ladies and Gentlemen, no phenomenon in the world has a lower moral standing than those of racism and racial discrimination. There are those who would even allow themselves to be called fascists!. But I can’t think of any political movement or even individual who would happily allow himself or herself to be termed a racist or one engaged in racial discrimination.
That being the case, we must ponder why it is so difficult for us to make progress in combating racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. Given that this is abhorred universally, given that racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia are at the heart of much of the cruelty and violence of today’s world, why is it that we find it so difficult to make progress even in the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action? I am not going to venture any hypothesis, ladies and gentlemen, I just want us to contemplate on this when we have the time.
Senator Barack Obama
The second and the final point I wish to make is an appeal. It is an appeal to take note of a new way of looking at these interrelated phenomena. A new way which puts us on a far higher analytical and ethical vantage point. A new way has opened up to regard and discuss these problems. I refer to the historic speech made by Barack Obama, confronting honestly but not aggressively, these phenomena in his own society, but with a far wider relevance than purely to his society alone. My appeal is that our own discussions, our search, our strivings in the inter-governmental working group, in other Durban related spaces, and in any discussion of this interrelated scourges, we must take into account and seek to emulate that example of Senator Obama which I personally consider to have opened up a new paradigm, may be even a new episteme, in discussing this subject.
That I think is the way to go. As for my own work as the Chairperson of the intergovernmental working group, all I can do is renew my pledge to engage in extensive consultation and inclusion, excluding no one and no one’s point of view, in hoping to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. I appeal to all members to be sensitive to each other’s point of view and not to engage in partisan or zero sum games, nor in attempts that can be portrayed as intending to paralyse or postpone beyond 2009, the functioning of this IGWG. Thank you Mr. President.”
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 April 2008 )|
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