By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
By Carolyn Hughes
By Chuck Strouse
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Weinstein
By Tessa Stuart
African governments and civil society groups believed the conference could go further and make concrete attempts at remedy. Recommendations made by the conference toward helping victims of both slavery and colonialism are primarily directed at developing countries and include: debt relief, poverty eradication, building or strengthening democratic institutions, promotion of foreign investment, transfer of technology, and investment in health infrastructures, education, and training, among others.
It would seem that the complex issues raised in Durban call for thoughtful and reasoned debate over causes and remedies. But the opportunity has been lost in the cacophony over twoZionism as racism and reparations for slaverywhich polarized the conference. Even if the formal outcome of the conference is mired in denial and defensiveness, it marks an important start in the discussion. As Robinson told the plenary, "The issues we are grappling with are among the most sensitive and difficult which the international community and the United Nations have to face."
Some groups believe valuable alliances and networks begun here will help them pressure their governments at home and shape an international movement against racial discrimination. "If we want to create a world network of coalition politics, this is the best environment in which to do it," said Luke Charles Harris of the African American Policy Forum in Poughkeepsie. The process of clarifying issues that civil-society groups have gone through here has "real potential for an antiracism movement," added George of Isis International. Durban 2001 could then well signal for the human rights movement what Seattle 1999 did for anti-globalization.
"Durban Diary" by Rachel Neumann