Libyan GONGO “North South 21” Asks Libyan Chair of Durban II for “NGO Forum”

Libyan GONGO North South 21 — a “Government Operated NGO”, or front organization — helped organize a joint letter to the Libyan head of the Durban II planning committee, demanding the UN allocate space for a “NGO Forum” adjacent to the conference, as well as funding to fly in activists from around the world, and castigated UN officials who dared to disagree. North South 21 hosts the letter on its dedicated website page lobbying for the NGO Forum. See full text below.




Geneva, Switzerland, 26 May 2008
H.E. Najat Al-Hajjaji
Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee of the Durban Review

Dear Mme Chairperson,

We are writing this letter to convey through you, to the Members of the Preparatory Committee, our strong desire as Non-Governmental Organizations and anti-racist movements to contribute to the successful preparations for the Durban Review Conference in 2009.
We believe that given the upsurge in racist practices in different parts of the world and the little attention given to the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action since its adoption, this Review Conference is greatly needed and must be given maximum support. In order for the Durban Review Conference to succeed, a dynamic partnership is needed between the UN, Governments and civil society in support of the Conference s aims and objectives. We wish to emphasize that strong mobilization of Non-Governmental Organizations and the holding of an NGO Forum have been an indispensable part of every major UN conference or special session since the landmark Stockholm Environment Conference in 1972.

Also at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, the NGO Forum was an important catalyst for many victim groups to come together, network, interact and build support for the work against racism and discrimination. We are deeply concerned over the failure by the Conference Secretariat
to provide timely information and invitations to NGOs to participate in the meetings of the Preparatory Committee despite the unequivocal decisions taken by the Preparatory Committee that NGOs accredited to the World Conference Against Racism shall be invited. We are equally concerned
over recent remarks by representatives of the UN Secretariat which tend to discourage the holding of an NGO Forum at the Review Conference, contrary to UN tradition.

We strongly believe in the necessity of a vigorous public mobilization effort for the Durban Review Conference. This includes efforts by Non-Governmental Organizations, victim groups and anti-racist
movements who must receive the full support of both the Preparatory Committee and the United Nations Secretariat, in particular the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In the view of the undersigned it is necessary that a positive decision is taken to enable civil society to fully contribute to a successful Durban Review Process and that financial resource are allocated to support the holding of an NGO Forum in the immediate vicinity of the official Conference site.

Signed by (in chronological order):
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)
Interfaith International
Comite International pour le Respect et l’Application de la
Charte Africaine des Droits de l Homme et des Peuples (CIRAC)
Action Internationale Paix et Developpment Grands Lacs (AIPD-GLJ)
December 12th Movement
The Aldet Centre, Saint Lucia
African Canadian Legal Clinic
North-South XXI
IUS Primi Viri
Indian Movement Tupa Amaru
World Peace Council
International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (EAFORD)
Mouvement Socio-cultural pour le development des
Mbororo (MBOSCUDA)
Global Rights
Agence des cites pour la cooperation Nord-Sud
Comission Africaine des Promoteurs a le Sante des droits de l’Homme (CAPSDH)
Espacio Afroamericano International
Culture of Afroindigenous Solidarity
Swedish Centre Against Racism Afro-Swedish National Association
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA)
Guinee Development (GUIDE)
Mouvement de la Paix (France)
Chinese Canadian National Council
National Anti-Racism Council of Canada
Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
International Coordination des ONG Africaines des droit de l’Homme (CONGAF)
Academie africaine pour la Paix (ACAP)
Urban Alliance on Race Relations
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
Espacio Afroamericano
Swedish-Somali Institute
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Zimbabwe Exiles Forum
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Legal Resources Centre
Wendy Isaack
Kituo Chakatiba
Citizens Governance Initiatives
Alliances for Africa
NCC, National Counseling Centre
Center for Minority Rights Development
Women of Law Association
Foundation for Human Rights Initiative
FHRI Africa Leadership and Governance Institute
NOON Center for Legal Consultation and Human Rights.

UN Watch