Moves to dilute focus of conference on racism opposed

Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Feb 7 - External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh today announced that India would oppose moves by some countries to dilute the focus of UN-sponsored world conference on racism.

Addressing the first meeting of the National Committee on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, the External Affairs Minister said in an obvious reference to Pakistan, that efforts were being made by some countries to broaden the scope of the conference to bring all forms of discrimination within its ambit.

"We are opposed to discrimination in any form. But racism should not be confused with discrimination in general", Mr Jaswant Singh said.

The National Committee, which has 15 members with the External Affairs Minister as its Chairman, has 10 ex-officio members, including Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary and Chairperson of the National Commission for Women.

Members are the Attorney General, Mr Soli Sorabjee, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice, Mr Rangnath Mihsra, Mr Abid Hussain, Mr K. Ramalingam, Mr N.N. Jha and Mr G.R. Gharekhan.

The meeting was in preparation for the conference in Durban beginning from August 31 this year.

The committee recommended that India should continue to play an active and constructive role in preparing for the conference and endorsed that conference should be action oriented.

Referred by:Balram Sampla
Published on: February 8, 2001
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