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Pillay, Navi

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Le Temps - Switzerland | 20/04/2009

First anti-racism conference successful despite demonstrations

In the daily Le Temps UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay defends the first anti-racism conference in Durban in 2001, which was marred by anti-Semitism: "No state is free from racism, social discrimination or xenophobia. These problems are not exclusive to the North or the South. Such evils transcend borders and regions. … The Holocaust, the Balkan wars and the genocide in Rwanda … show that extreme manifestations of racist violence continue to be a threat. There are also countless examples on a smaller scale, which are also tolerated or ignored forms of hatred. … I am very aware that a few anti-Semitic demonstrations initiated by certain NGOs cast a shadow over the 2001 World Conference. But despite these repulsive incidents the conference reached its goal. For the first time a global strategy for fighting racism at a national, regional and international level was drawn up."

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