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World Conference Against Racism

World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia And Related Intolerance

The Attorney General Margaret Wilson expects considerable interest in the New Zealand experience of race relations at the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa this week.

Margaret Wilson is leading the New Zealand delegation to the conference.

She says being able to gather in South Africa - with the official end of apartheid now behind us in another century - will give a lift to the work of fighting racism.

Ms Wilson says New Zealand's unique framework of the Treaty of Waitangi is always the focus of international interest.

But she says New Zealand has developed its own approach on the basis of unique experiences but says we do not seek to put ourselves forward as a model because "there can be no one model".

"For the same reason, we would not expect the UN to provide the international community with a recipe for resolving the many different issues arising from the colonial era worldwide. These are questions on which each country must be asked to take a position depending on its specific circumstances".

Margaret Wilson says she will draw the attention to New Zealand's long history in promoting good race relations - including the ratification nearly 30 years ago of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the development of race relations conciliation, the Treaty negotiations process, the promotion of tolerance and the acceptance of ethnic diversity.


NOTE: The conference takes place from Friday 31 August until Monday 3 September.


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