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Fifty - sixth  session ( 20 March - 28 April 2000) 

Item 6:  Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination

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 which is 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 group responsibility under the guardianship of this great international organization, the United Nations, which we have agreed to recognize as an international instrument for peace 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.  This phenomenon seems as ancient as humanity itself that even some divine tenets referred to it as the essence of evil on this planet.  After all, it was Satan, challenging Adam and God,  who were the first to say “ I am better than him, you created me from fire and created him from clay.”  This superiority complex was described as the reason why Adam was expelled from heaven, according to the well known religious narrative. 

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.   

Eventually, 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 a general sense of indignation and an angry display of hostility.  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 develop and progress.  This end cannot be achieved except through education, and education alone. 

Thus the foreign aid offered by developed countries to developing ones, which by the way, should be multiplied many folds, must not be dispersed except via an international law for the construction of schools, educational institutions and universities.  Our organization calls upon members and NGOs to support our recommendation that foreign aid offered to developing countries must be regulated by international law and directed only toward education, and education alone. This is the first step towards paving the path to enhance the potential for development and, in turn, to fight discrimination. 

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 back 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 its civilization and the luxuries it offers today has been the result of the Greek and Roman civilizations.  The Greek and Roman civilizations were merely elementary students of the Eastern civilization.


23 March 2000