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AG/RES. 1905 (XXXII-O/02)


(Adopted at the fourth plenary session held on June 4, 2002) 


            BEARING IN MIND that the Charter of the Organization of American States, in Article 45.a, recognizes that “all human beings, without distinction as to race, sex, nationality, creed, or social condition, have a right to material well-being and to their spiritual development, under circumstances of liberty, dignity, equality of opportunity, and economic security”; 

            RECALLING that Article II of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, signed in Bogotá in 1948, establishes that all persons are equal before the law and have the rights and duties established therein, without distinction as to race, sex, language, creed, or any other factor; 

            HAVING SEEN the American Convention on Human Rights, signed in San José, Costa Rica, in 1969, Articles 1 and 2 of which prohibit discrimination for reasons of race, color, sex, language, religion, social origin, or any other condition; 

            RECALLING that the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination was adopted by the United Nations in 1965, and that the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance was held in South Africa in 2001 and preceded by regional and subregional preparatory meetings; 

            NOTING THAT the Regional Conference of the Americas in preparation for the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Santiago, Chile, from December 5 to 7, 2000, agreed in its Plan of Action to request states “to redouble their efforts to reassert their commitment to eradicating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, in order to improve human well-being, promote more inclusive and participatory societies, and eradicate poverty”;

            TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that the Heads of State and Government, at the Third Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec City, Canada, in April 2001, reaffirmed their commitment to protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all, including vulnerable or marginalized groups, persons with disabilities, and those needing special protection, and pledged to eradicate all forms of discrimination, including racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and other related intolerance in our societies; 

            MINDFUL of resolution AG/RES. 1774 (XXXI-O/01), which instructed the Permanent Council to “continue its consideration of the need for a draft inter-American convention to prevent, punish, and eradicate racism and all forms of discrimination and intolerance”; 

            TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that racist and discriminatory practices are incompatible with the effective exercise of representative democracy and the rule of law; 

            PROFOUNDLY CONCERNED BY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNING all forms of racism and racial discrimination, including related acts of racially motivated violence, xenophobia, and related intolerance, as well as propaganda activities and organizations which attempt to justify or promote racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance in any form; 

            REAFFIRMING that all states should resolutely condemn all acts of racism and bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes motivated by racism, and consider including in their legislation racist motivations as an aggravating factor for the purposes of sentencing; 

            CONCERNED over the resurgence of trends toward discrimination, racism, and escalating intolerance, which affect, in particular, the indigenous peoples,[1] people of African descent, migrants and other ethnic, racial, cultural, religious, and linguistic groups or minorities, thereby exacerbating poverty, marginalization, and social exclusion; 

            CONSIDERING the diversity of ethnic groups and cultures that enrich societies in the Hemisphere and the need to maintain and promote harmonious relations among them; 

            BEARING IN MIND the conclusions reached by the Inter-American Juridical Committee in response to the mandate issued in resolution AG/RES. 1774 (XXXI-O/01), provided in analytical document CP/doc.3559/02, and resolution CJI/RES. 39 (LX-O/02), also contained therein, in paragraph 1 of which the Committee resolved “to express its concern with regard to the increase in the number of acts of racism and intolerance throughout the world and to confirm the need to make a common cause in opposition to such manifestations by intensifying cooperation among the States in order to eradicate these practices”; 

            HAVING SEEN the replies received to date from the member states to the questionnaire contained in document CP/CAJP-1687/01 rev. 2; 

            CONSIDERING that, at its meeting of April 16, 2002, the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the Permanent Council received valuable contributions on this matter from the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CP/CAJP-1917/02) and from the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Law Group, which brought about high-level discussion of the subject; and 

            CONSIDERING that the Organization should continue to promote decisively the elimination of racism and all forms of discrimination and intolerance, 


            1.      To instruct the Permanent Council:

                     a.      To continue to address, as a matter of priority, the subject of preventing, combating, and eradicating racism and all forms of discrimination and intolerance; 

                     b.      To initiate the study of possible strategies for promoting, through initiatives in the areas of education and justice administration, public awareness campaigns, tolerance, and full and effective equality for all persons in building pluralistic, inclusive societies, on the understanding that national programs and international cooperation should be encouraged; and

                     c.      To enlist active participation in the study mentioned above by civil society organizations working to protect and promote human rights. 

            2.      To urge member states that have not yet done so to reply as soon as possible to the questionnaire on the Preparation of a Draft Inter-American Convention against Racism and all Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance (CP/CAJP-1687/00 rev. 2). 

            3.      To recommend to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that it continue to give special attention to this topic in the context of the inter-American legal instruments currently in force. 

            4.         To request the Permanent Council to present a report on the implementation of this resolution to the General Assembly at its thirty-third regular session.

1.               The United States notes that the use of the term “peoples” in this document shall not be construed as having any implications as regards the rights which may attach to the term under international law, since the rights associated with the term “indigenous peoples” have a context-specific meaning that is appropriately determined in the multilateral negotiations regarding the text of the declarations that specifically deal with such rights.

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