4.22.2009

National Conference of Black Lawyers Releases statement to the United Nations Durban Review Conference

The National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) is an association of lawyers, scholars, judges, legal workers, law students and legal activists. Our mission is to serve as the legal arm of the movement for Black Liberation, to protect human rights, to achieve the self-determination of Africa and Black communities in the Diaspora, and to work in coalition to assist in ending the oppression of all peoples. The NCBL is a bar association, but its program concerns matters of critical concern to the broader Black community.

The NCBL was an active participant in the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance (WCAR) held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. In addition, the NCBL has engaged other non-governmental organizations and the United States government during the process leading to the 2009 review conference in Geneva.

The NCBL recognizes that the WCAR held in 2001 was of global significance, addressing important issues such as the transatlantic slave trade and slavery; reparations; colonialism; the intersection of sexism and racism; discrimination against Roma and Sinti peoples; discrimination against indigenous peoples; and discrimination against Palestinians.

The NCBL views the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), agreed upon at the 2001 WCAR, as a comprehensive policy document which guides States, non-governmental organizations and other actors in their efforts to combat racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The DDPA provides a valuable framework for addressing these issues, including suggesting measures to combat racial discrimination in all its manifestations, and improving the remedies available to victims of racial discrimination.

The Durban Review Conference is tasked with reviewing progress and assessing implementation of the DDPA by all stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels, including assessment of contemporary manifestations of racism; assessing the effectiveness of the Durban follow-up mechanisms and other United Nations mechanisms dealing with racial discrimination in order to enhance them; promoting the ratification and implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and identifying and sharing good practices in the fight against racial discrimination.

Read the full statement by the NCBL at: www.mmmhouston.net