Paragraph 67

Paragraph 67

UN WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE, DURBAN 2001

PARA 67
“We recognise that members of certain groups with a distinct cultural identity face barriers arising from a complex interplay of ethnic, religious and other factors as well as their traditions and customs and call upon States to ensure that measures, policies and programmes aimed at eradicating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance address the barriers that this interplay of factors creates.”

In 2001, the United Nations, deliberated on the unintended discrimination that Sikhs often face. The 183 countries gathered at the World conference Against Racism, Racial Intolerance, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance , Durban, decided that conventions legal categories do not adequately protect the Sikhs against discrimination. These are religion, ethnicity, culture etc. The issue was brought to the agenda by Canada. It was felt that a legal category does not exist in English language that would capture the unique characteristics of Sikhs, evolved as a complex interplay of factors. It was decided to draft a paragraph describing the unique description of the community and then let countries decide on a single word later 

This paragraph became para 67 of the Declaration of the UN World Conference Against Racism. The Conference had decided early on not to use the name of any community in any of the paragraphs so that they remain generic.  Para 67 was introduced by Canada, supported by India and backed by Australia and later Pakistan. After a brief discussion, all the 183 countries present agreed to the paragraph. In this page we have Para 67 as it stands, and the supporting documents, the speeches that laid the rationale and the final Plenary speech. Also included are references to attendance. 

A team of 21 people led by Manjit Singh QC accomplished the task of drafting, negotiating, lobbying countries, attending various meetings and gaining support of NGOs and diplomats. 

Some reference urls 

https://www.un.org/WCAR/coverage.htm

http://www.un.org/WCAR/pressreleases/rd-d43.htm 

https://www.un.org/WCAR/journal/j6sep.pdf

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