• Short Summary

    In Geneva, a special world conference organised by the United Nations to combat racism has opened at the Palais des Nations.

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    LV INT United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim speaking at anti-racism conference in Geneva

    CU PAN FROM Secretary General of the conference C.V. Narasimhan TO Waldheim continuing speech (OVERLAID WITH SHOTS OF Delegations from U.S.S.R. Zaire, United Nations for Namibia, Israel, Iraq and Germany) (6 shots)

    CU Waldheim continuing speech

    WALDHEIM: "It is my hope that the conference will mark a decisive turning point in the international struggle against all forms of racial prejudice, inequality and injustice. This historic struggle, which knows no boundaries, is one of the most serious challenges we face in building an international community of peach and security based upon universal respect for human values and rights.

    "The effect of apartheid and racial discrimination is to make 25 million people in southern Africa aliens in their own land, unable to express opposition to laws that have stripped them of their birth-rights. As this conference is aware, the Security Council and the General Assembly have repeatedly called upon the Government of South Africa to abandon its apartheid policies. In have also on numerous occasions addressed appeals to the government in this respect. Regrettably, these and the many other appeals addressed by the international community have not been heeded. The gravity of the situation is reflected in such United Nations actions as the adoption by the General Assembly of the International Convention for Suppression and Punishment of........the Crime of Apartheid, and the unprecedented steps taken by the Security Council in instituting a mandatory arms embargo against South Africa under Chapter VII of the Charter. It is urgent that this conference now acts to bring about a wider consensus on the international action that must be taken to eradicate apartheid, as well as all other forms of racial discrimination. Apartheid inherently and inevitably leads to violence. In the end, it is a self-defeating policy because it will be resisted as long as it is practised. Even at this later stage, South Africa would have much to gain if the Government would heed world opinion and turn away from the bitter past of racism and strife. While apartheid represents racial discrimination in a particularly stark form, it is unfortunately true that discrimination based on race, and especially on colour, prevails in other parts of the world. Wherever it exists, it entails the same personal suffering, the same emotional stress and the same injustice, and denies people equal opportunity for self-development and fulfilment."

    The conference, which started on the 14 August, is scheduled to end on 25 August.

    Initials BB/2050

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Geneva, a special world conference organised by the United Nations to combat racism has opened at the Palais des Nations. It is expected to adopt a programme of action against all forms of racism, including apartheid. 103 states -- 98 members of the United Nations and five other countries -- as well as non-government organisations were represented at the opening. One of the objects of the conference is to seek ways of getting anti-racialist resolutions passed by the U.N. General Assembly implemented throughout the world. It was opened by the United Nations Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim.

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