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Resolution

NAACP’s Participation in the United Nations World Conference Against Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

WHEREAS, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in 1997 to hold the Third World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance; and

 

WHEREAS, the significant international forum has been scheduled to be held August 31 to September 7, 2001 in South Africa with objectives to include:

  • Reviewing the progress made in the fight against racism, re-appraising obstacles to further progress in the field and ways to overcome the obstacles;
  • Increasing the level of awareness regarding the scourges of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
  • Reviewing the political, historical, economic, social, cultural and other factors leading to racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia; and
  • Formulating concrete recommendations to further action-oriented national, regional and international measures to combat all forms of racism; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States Senate ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination [CERD] in 1994 with some reservations which nullified the provisions of CERD that exceeded current U.S. law and denied U.S. citizens the right to enforce all the provisions of CERD directly in court. However, by ratifying CERD, the U.S. is obligated on behalf of federal, state and local governments:

 

  • To submit periodic reports to the UN/CERD describing legislative, administrative and judicial measures to implement treaty obligations;
  • To identify areas in which law and practice fall short of treaty rights for any resident of the U.S., and to take steps to comply;
  • To establish a mechanism to monitor compliance on federal, state and local levels;
  • To educate all government employees, federal, state and local as well as the general public on the U.S. obligation under the treaty to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination; and

WHEREAS, racial discrimination in the U.S. continues to negatively impact the lives of Americans of African ancestry as well as other people of color in almost every aspect of life as current statistics reveal in employment, education, criminal justice, credit, housing and health care; and

 

WHEREAS, the current trend of hate groups and hate literature utilizing the Internet blames these existing measurable disparities on the victims rather than the continuing persistent present manifestations of racism and the legacy of uncompensated slave labor along with the barbaric injuries inflicted on the minds and bodies of Africans held as slaves for nearly 400 years; and

 

WHEREAS, many of the founding members of the NAACP were also key strategists in establishing the League of Nations which preceded the United Nations with the hope that this International World Body would serve as a positive forum to address racial discrimination in America; and

 

WHEREAS, the prophetic words of one of our own freedom fighters, W.E.B. Dubois, still applies to the 21st Century, "… the problem of the Twentieth Century is the Color Line."

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP take all necessary steps to actively participate in the U.N. World Conference on Racism, August 31-September 7, 2001 by:

 

  • Obtaining status with the United Nations as a Certified Non-Governmental Organization with Consultative status so that the NAACP will be eligible to participate fully at the World Conference;
  • Urging that the U.S. Government conform federal, state and local law with recognized international human rights standards;
  • Demanding that the U.S. State Department submit the required reports to the U.N. in compliance with U.S., obligations under CERD. [To date, the U.S. has not submitted a report].;
  • Urging President Clinton to take a leadership role now in preparing for the World Conference on Racism by designating funding, rescinding the U.S. reservations to CERD and granting the right to U.S. citizens to enforce CERD in U.S. courts;
  • Calling upon all NAACP units to contact their Members of Congress and the U.S. Senate to request that they earmark funding for U.S. participation in the World Conference and by designating an appropriate congressional delegation to participate in the World Conference;
  • Calling upon all NAACP units to educate their local communities on the significance of the World Conference on Racism by holding public forums; and
  • Providing NAACP representation at the 2001 World Conference with documentation of the continuing effects of racism and the work of the NAACP to combat it.
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