Press Releases

    SG/SM/7937
    RD/949
    5 September 2001

    SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES COUNTRIES AT
    RACISM CONFERENCE TO "STAY THE COURSE"
    FOLLOWING ISRAEL, US WITHDRAWAL

    DURBAN, 3 September -- The following statement is attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General:

    The Secretary-General has been following closely developments at the World Conference against Racism since he left Durban, South Africa, on Saturday. He spoke to Mary Robinson, the Secretary-General of the Conference, in the last few hours.

    He expects that progress can be made as delegates strive to harmonize their divergent positions in the search for a consensus text to come out of the Conference.

    He is disappointed at the decision by Israel and the United States to withdraw their delegations from these intense negotiations, which, he is convinced, with good will, can conclude successfully by the end of this week.

    It is tough going, but he urges all countries to stay the course. The Conference cannot afford other defections.

    * *** *