III World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, enophobia and Other Related Forms of Intolerance

Statement on Programme of Action

2003-01-24 00:00:00



Many precedents within the United Nations system establish that
sexual orientation is a human rights issue. These precedents are
founded on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which
proclaims that all persons are born free and equal in dignity and
rights (Article 1), and are sustained by the UDHR principle that
human rights are indivisible. They are also grounded in the Santiago
Declaration of the Prepcom of the Americas. The universality of
human rights is fulfilled by addressing abuses and by protecting the
victims of discrimination. These precedents demonstrate that the
United Nations already recognizes that sexual orientation is a human
rights issue11 The United Nations Committee on the Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights has held, through the General Comment 14 (2000)
on the right of the highest attainable standard of mental and
physical health in the international Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, that sexual orientation is a prohibited basis of
discrimination, and has an impact on health status.. In this context
we stress the human rights advances at the international level,
which establish the principles of non-discrimination and equality
without any kind of distinction.

In this Conference one delegation, supported by several delegations,
expressed in clear terms that sexual orientation is an aspect of
human reality, which can no longer be ignored, and requires more in-
depth analysis, discussion and debate to contribute to the
development of world-wide consensus on this matter.

Therefore, the Delegations of Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Canada and
Guatemala re-affirm the importance for the strengthening and
advancement of human rights and the combat of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, of developing,
implementing and improving specific policies and programmes to
effectively address a serious form of multiple discrimination, which
occurs when racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related
intolerance intersect with discrimination based on sexual




Our delegation, composed by representatives from the government and
civil society (NGO's, Indigenous Peoples and people of African
Descent), regret that in spite of intense negotiations carried out
jointly with various countries of the region, paragraphs 26, 27, and
51 of the Draft Declaration, referring to the recognition of
Indigenous Peoples and their rights, have not advanced in their
legal and political contents during the negotiation at the World
Conference Against Racism.

Our delegation would like to reaffirm its commitment with Indigenous
Peoples towards the recognition of their rights by States. In the
same way as sectors who suffer from exclusion, racism, we expect
this World Conference to clearly define racism and its consequences,
as well as to assume responsibility over the effects of this
situation on the basis of a Programme of Action that will contribute
to overcoming its consequences.

The Republic of Ecuador defines itself in its Constitution as a
Pluricultural, Multi-ethnic and Multi-lingual State, thereby
recognizing the diverse reality of its national composition, as well
as the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples. With this new legal
vision based on a new social covenant, we intend to overcome racism
and forms of inclusion that have been imposed since the colonization

We, therefore, urge the conclusion and adoption of the Declaration
of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, based on the text approved by
the Sub Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities, in its Resolution 1995/32, and recognizing
the category of Indigenous Peoples.

Finally, we consider that the adoption of Paragraphs 26, 27, 51 go
back on the progress achieved in the framework of the negotiations
process of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
to the extent that they consecrate the persistance of discrimination
towards those peoples.

Durban, South Africa, September 6, 2001