THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (EAFORD)
5 route des Morillons, CP 2100.  1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Telephone & Fax: 788.62.33 

World Conference Against Racism
August 2001

            Racism and racial discrimination in all its multifaceted manifestations has invariably had a negative impact on human society throughout decades and centuries of documented history.  Therefore, it is incumbent upon modern society at the beginning of this new century to seriously evaluate itself and face its weaknesses in order to rid the world of this dangerous ailment threatening the future of forthcoming generations.  In the critical assessment of the past and present is a major test of our binding sense of individual and collective responsibility under the guardianship of this great international organization, the United Nations, which we have agreed to recognize as an international instrument for peace and prosperity on this planet.  

            One of the first things that come to mind in relation to racism and racial discrimination is that it is a phenomenon which has persisted throughout our human history and resulted in many afflictions and tragedies.  The most recent tragedies that come to mind include the premeditated plan to annihilate the native Indians, as well as, the exploitation of Africans who were dehumanized in the cruelest and most offensive manner.

            However, shifts in contemporary and historical trends show us clearly that this phenomenon with its ethnic, religious and racial elements has begun to diminish in its popularity.  Little by little, it is being replaced and re-manifested through a new scale designed to discriminate between nations and peoples on the basis of rich vs. poor nations and developed vs. developing countries. 

            People of advanced nations whose progressive civilization took strides in science and technology, in general, look condescendingly and with a sense of superiority upon people of less advanced nations.  What makes the gap wider and worse for humanity is that some of the advanced nations have constantly taken advantage of the negative circumstances from which less advanced nations have suffered.  By doing so, they have gained even more power over developing countries and have managed to continue exhausting their resources.  This is often done in devious and insidious ways that obstruct any potential for advancement and progress. 

            Gradually, all of this has led to a major disparity, instability and imbalanced states in world affairs as witnessed today especially in comparison between the West and East, the North and South, whereby the injustice and oppression are so deep-rooted and widespread that the inequity is self-evident.  Moreover, empirical studies and statistics further support that two thirds of the world revenues go to one third of its population.  Whereas one third of the world’s revenue goes to the remaining two thirds of the world’s population in developing countries. 

            Since the world has become a smaller “Global Village” due to more efficient and sophisticated communications and transportation networks, it has been easier to follow up its overall momentum.  The general sense of injustice and oppression has devastated the population of developing nations leading some groups to migrate in unrestrained large numbers to the advanced world.  The negative and tragic consequences of such wide-scale migration have affected both the migrating people and the population in which they had to be integrated. 

            Injustice and oppression have led some other groups to express their resistance and indignation through extreme forms of opposition.  The dangerous consequences of such angry rebellion have made the threat of violence and terrorism a reality for the innocent victims who always end up paying the price with their lives for crimes they did not commit and oppressive circumstances they are not responsible for.

            Therefore, we think that combating racism and racial discrimination should be undertaken through analyzing its basic roots in poverty which originate from ignorance and lead to backwardness.  If we were able to stop this vicious cycle, we might be able to eliminate discrimination.

            The more powerful ones among us, who have achieved high levels of progress in science and technology, have to assist their brothers and sisters in humanity to attain the same level, if we truly want to eliminate discrimination.  Combating racism and racial discrimination cannot be done with kind words or through media and propaganda oriented donations.  What the Developing World needs is neither food, which will be eaten by the strongest among them, nor arms which tyrants will use against the weaker ones.  The Developing World needs the means to development and progress.  This end cannot be achieved except through education, and education alone.

            The Western world owes huge debts to the Third World which should be paid.  America should pay thousands of billions of dollars to Africa as compensation for the lives of millions who were transported as slaves to the two American continents by Western enslavement machinery during three centuries.  After all, it was on the shoulders of those Africans that America built its agriculture movement and to a large extent its industrial revolution and progress.  Europe must also pay thousands of billions of dollars to Africa, Latin America, and a large region of Asia since it was European colonization that destroyed local economies in these countries.  It did so through sacrificing wide-scale local agricultural systems and replacing them with single product marketing strategies which transformed local economies into dependent consumers to serve Europe’s best interests.  In turn, local economies lost their independence and self-sufficiency.  National industrial labor was no longer able to meet the required standards for self-reliance. 

            The Third World strongly objects to and disapproves of those superficial and trivial media and propaganda oriented donations which are offered nowadays to mask hundreds of years of oppression.  America and Europe must pay back the true value of compensation owed to the Third World.  Repayment is imperative if we really and truly aspire to achieve international and humanistic harmony to prevent feelings of hatred and malice and to safeguard this planet from violence and the tragedies of wars.

            The leaderships of the developed world must realize that their exerted efforts in regards to the problem of underdevelopment and its related consequences of racism and racial discrimination is not only in the best interests of their own people in the long-run, but also such efforts are debts they should repay to developing nations.  They must realize efforts on their part are not favors or acts of condescending generosity.  What developed nations enjoy today in the Western world is the result of great strides taken previously by other ancient civilizations in India, China, Persia, North Africa and North of the Arabian peninsula such as the Chaldeanian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Phoenician, Sumerian, and Pharaonic civilizations.  As the American Historian W. Durant stated in his large volumes titled “The Story of Civilization”, the Western world would be gravely mistaken if it thought the civilization and luxuries it offers today originated in the Greek and Roman civilizations.  The Greek and Roman civilizations were merely elementary students of the Eastern civilization. 

EAFORD                                                                                                              
August 2001