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21 April 2009



DURBAN REVIEW CONFERENCE CONTINUES HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

Hears Statements by Qatar, IPU, Namibia, Suriname, Palestine, Montenegro, Lesotho, Bolivia, Uganda, Pakistan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Barbados, Bahrain, Honduras, Mauritius and Indonesia

21 April 2009

The Durban Review Conference this morning continued its high-level segment, hearing statements from dignitaries from Qatar, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Namibia, Suriname, Palestine, Montenegro, Lesotho, Bolivia, Uganda, Pakistan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Barbados, Bahrain, Honduras, Mauritius and Indonesia.

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High-Level Segment


SAIF MUGADDAM AL BUAINAIN,
Assistant Foreign Minister of Qatar, ...

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The people of Palestine had been suffering from discrimination for many decades, suffering catastrophic economic and social consequences due to Israel's actions, including the building of the Separation War, carrying out a blockade, and seizing Palestinian land. The international community had a responsibility to deal with these violations and work to ensure that the Palestinian people could enjoy their inalienable human rights as stipulated in the United Nations Charter and the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. The Palestinian people had a right to have an independent nation, with East Jerusalem as its capital. There was a need to raise awareness among the public with regards to fighting racism. Qatar attached great importance to protecting and promoting human rights at all levels, nationally, internationally, and regionally.

RIYAD AL-MALIKI, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine, said that for over 60 years the Palestinians had been suffering under occupation. This occupation was the worst violation of human rights. The continuation of the suffering of the Palestinians who faced the most racist forms of occupation by the occupying force must stop. The right to self-determination of the Palestinian people must be channelled towards the construction of a viable and independent State. The occupying power must be held accountable to its international obligations, including the Fourth Geneva Convention which was applicable in the Occupied Palestinian Territories including East Jerusalem. However, there was a total disregard for international law by the occupying power. Despite this the Palestinian people believed that truth would ultimately prevail. The rights of the Palestinians were inalienable and would not decrease over time. The Palestinian people were rooted in their land.

Combating racism and racial discrimination could not be discussed without due focus on the measures taken by the occupying power in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This was done through the confiscation of lands, changing the historical and religious characteristics of Jerusalem, destroying homes, building the separation wall, refusing to issue the necessary permits for building projects, and by the excavation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, among other things. Additionally, hundreds of checkpoints and roadblocks remained which hindered mobility of Palestinians and as such their way of life. The most recent actions in Gaza displaced tens of thousands of Palestinians and killed or wounded over 7,000 Palestinians, half of whom were children, women and the elderly; this translated into racism on the ground. The Review Conference was to review and evaluate the progress achieved in what was stipulated in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. Everyone must work at all levels to eradicate all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, and to enhance cooperation to put an end to such practices, to ensure dignity and equality for all.

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FAYSAL MEKDAD, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Syria, ...

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... Syria deplored the discriminatory measures taken by Israel towards the Palestinian population, and Israel’s rejection to recognize the applicability of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination in the case of the Golan Heights. Syria urged the international community not to keep their eyes closed with respect to Israel’s injustices.

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NIZAR SADEQ AL BAHARNA, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, ...

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Human rights were universal and as such it was essential to strengthen cooperation among all countries of the world in order for the fundamental principles of human rights to be known around the world. These fundamental principles were essential to ensuring equality and justice. Consistent racial practices aggravated this phenomenon further. It was the duty of each country to uphold human rights. The occupying power was spreading its colonies across the Palestinian territories. Bahrain pleaded to the international community to help the Palestinian people to ensure their right to self-determination and to alleviate their suffering. ...

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REZLAN ISHAR JENIE, Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs of Indonesia, ...

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... Indonesia continued to sympathize with the suffering of the Palestinian people. ...



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