MINELRES: Durban Review Conference: ERT urges unified approach to equality

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Apr 25 09:51:41 2009


riginal sender: Equal Rights Trust <equalrightstrust1@response.pure360.com>


ERT promotes the Declaration of Principles on Equality at Durban Review
Conference  
 
Geneva, 24 April 2009  
 
Addressing the closing session of the Durban Review Conference today (24
April 2009), The Equal Rights Trust called on States and other
stakeholders to adopt a unified approach to equality in order to
eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related
intolerance. ERT urged delegates to utilise the Declaration of
Principles on Equality when evaluating, drafting and implementing all
laws, policies, procedures and practices in this regard. 

The Declaration is an instrument of international best practice which
formulates comprehensive and progressive standards on equality. It
establishes a new paradigm, according to which the right to equality is
seen as a basic human right, which is autonomous rather than subsidiary
to any other right set forth by law. Significantly, it departs from the
traditional concept of formal equality and redefines positive action as
inherent to substantive equality rather than as an exception or a
temporary special measure. 

ERT stated that the Declaration&#65533;s unified perspective promotes a
principled approach in dealing with different types of discrimination,
across grounds and areas of activity, so that stakeholders in all
nations can enshrine the right to equality in a way that eliminates the
gaps, inconsistencies and hierarchies of current equality regulations.
Moreover, the Declaration integrates the two historically segregated
notions of identity-based equality and equality in terms of social class
or economic status. 

ERT asserted that international and national initiatives must move
beyond formal notions of equality. The unified framework of substantive
equality for all, based on the equal worth and dignity of all human
beings, which the Declaration proposes must be the starting point for
effectively combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and
related intolerance. 

ERT was mindful of a number of limitations to the &#65533;Outcome Document&#65533;,
despite positive strides made by the Preparatory Committee. It therefore
urged the adoption of textual amendments submitted to the Secretariat in
a written statement on 20 April 2009. In particular, ERT urged a unified
approach to equality in the fight against racism, recognising the
egregious human rights violations which other disadvantaged groups
suffer. Any non-recognition of the inequality and discrimination
suffered on other grounds, which are analogous to the experience of
those who suffer from racism and related intolerance, would constitute a
serious setback to the development of the right to equality and a
dilution of the protections that the Durban Review Conference seeks to
secure. 

ERT urged the High Commissioner for Human Rights to show support by
distinguishing the Declaration as best practice and by encouraging its
implementation in her reporting and policy activities. In addition, ERT
urged States and civil society to acknowledge the Declaration as a
benchmark for equality and to evaluate laws, policies, procedures and
human rights safeguards against the principles contained in the
Declaration when reporting to UN mechanisms. In order to promote the
right to equality and combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia
and related intolerance nationally, ERT called upon States to implement
the Declaration in national legislation and policy and promote the use
of these principles within national court systems. Furthermore, ERT
appealed to all international and national NGO&#65533;s as well as civil
society activists to formally endorse the Declaration. 

For the full written statement, click here:
http://www.equalrightstrust.org/newsstory200409/index.htm 

To sign the Declaration, click here:
http://www.equalrightstrust.org/endorse/index.htm


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