Actions of politicians worsen racial intolerance - UN envoy, Dr Die’ne
Guyana Chronicle
July 21, 2003

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Mr. Diéne making his presentation, with Mrs. Elisabeth Harper, and Mr. Rudy Insanally at the head table.
The audience (a) Prime Minister Sam Hinds and other members of the Diplomatic Corps. (b) from left, Mrs. Bernadette Theodore-Ghandi, Venezuelan Charge D’Affaires Mr. Fernando Rincon, and Mr. Steve Crossman, Deputy British High Commissioner.
UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia, Mr. Doudou Die’ne , has said that racial intolerance is bred usually out of misunderstanding between cultures, and happens on several levels, from the aesthetic to the ethical/moral to the spiritual dimension.

And, while there will always be some amount of misunderstanding between people, it is usually the actions of politicians that exacerbate the situation.

The UN envoy made the observation last Wednesday evening during a lecture presentation themed “Overcoming Racism and Racial Discrimination through Dialogue among Civilizations” at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), New Garden and Charlotte Streets, Ministry of Home Affairs.

Sharing the head table with him were Mrs. Elisabeth Harper, and Mr. Rudy Insanally, and in the audience Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and members of the Diplomatic Corps..

Mr. Die’ne, a national of Senegal said too, people are usually more in touch with each other at a grass roots level, or as an old Senegalese proverb says, “When the branches of trees in the forest are fighting, the roots are kissing.”

Mr. Diéne said that no ethnic community on earth has developed in isolation. He said that the world should be seen not just as many cultures clashing, but as a bio-culture, which is culture(s) existing within a unified eco-system.

Mr. Diéne is the second person appointed by the UN Human Rights Commission to the post of Special Rapporteur on Racism, a position he has held since April of last year.

He has promised to fulfill his mandate in Guyana which is to undertake “a most comprehensive and objective assessment of the communities and race relationships and also the drafting of recommendations that can help or cultivate the solution which the Guyanese people will have to find.”