Durban Review Conference 2009: United Against Racism

What was the Durban Review Conference?

The Durban Review Conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland, 20-24 April 2009. This conference evaluated progress towards the goals set by the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action issued at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.

For more information on the Durban Review Conference, please visit

What were the objectives of the Durban Review Conference?

  • To review progress and assess implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action by all stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels, including assessment of contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; through an inclusive, transparent and collaborative process, and identification of concrete measures and initiatives for combating and eliminating all manifestations of these phenomena;
  • To assess the effectiveness of the existing Durban follow-up mechanisms and other relevant UN mechanisms dealing with the issues of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in order to enhance them;
  • To promote the universal ratification and implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and proper consideration of the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination;
  • To identify and share good practices achieved in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

See also a summary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

What preparations took place for the Durban Review Conference?

Delegates from member states of the United Nations attended a number of preparatory meetings to set the direction of the Durban Review Conference.

A draft outcomes document was negotiated by delegates from member states. To see this document please visit

What contribution did the Australian Human Rights Commission make to the Durban Review?

The Australian Human Rights Commission provided a report to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights which provided information on significant race related issues that have had an impact on the enjoyment of human rights in Australia since the WCAR in 2001. The report focused on Indigenous issues, issues related to ethnic communities and issues of concern for refugees.

How did NGOs participate in the Durban Review Conference?

NGOs were encouraged to participate at the Durban Review Conference itself and in the process leading up to the conference. NGOs that had consultative status with UN ECOSOC were automatically accredited to participate in the Durban Review Conference.

Other useful links