General Assembly: High-level Meeting to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (Opening Plenary)
22 Sep 2021
In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), the General Assembly is holding a high-level meeting, at the level of Heads of States and Governments, on the theme "Reparations, racial justice and equality for people of African descent."
During the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, from 31 August to 8 September 2001, Member States adopted a landmark document for combatting these scourges: the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. The Declaration embodies the commitments of the international community to address the legacy of the past as well as contemporary forms and manifestations of racism and racial discrimination, including the acknowledgement that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity and should have always been so. The Programme of Action constitutes a comprehensive roadmap recommending how Member States and other stakeholders should implement these commitments. The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action is a victim-centred framework, which emphasises the plight of victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including Africans and people of African descent, Asians and people of Asian descent, indigenous peoples, migrants, refugees, displaced persons, victims of human trafficking, and persons belonging to various minorities. It reaffirms that States have the duty to protect and promote the human rights of all and should apply a gender perspective, thereby recognising the existence of multiple forms of discrimination. In particular, the Declaration and Programme of Action emphasise that people of African descent continued to be victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance as a consequence of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism. The documents also acknowledged the value and diversity of the cultural heritage of Africans and people of African descent and affirmed the importance and necessity of ensuring their full integration into social, economic and political life. The General Assembly defined the scope, modalities, format and organization of the high-level meeting in its resolution 75/320. The General Assembly also decided to adopt a political declaration aimed at mobilizing political will at the national, regional and international levels for the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and its follow-up processes at the opening plenary meeting.