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The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination - A Commentary by Thornberry, Patrick (14th July 2016)

5 Title and Preamble

From: The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: A Commentary

Patrick Thornberry

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 06 July 2020

Subject(s):
Religion — Ethnicity — Minorities — Race

This chapter discusses the development and interpretations of the title and preamble to the Convention. The title and preamble reflect the fundamental values and aspirations of the Convention and the wider United Nations in an international system that was advancing to a post-colonial phase while colonial vestiges remained. The fact that (Western) colonialism and apartheid have passed into history does not deprive the title and preamble of their power to guide and inspire. As with other elements in the Convention, the text of the preamble was not achieved without struggle. The continuing ambiguities with regard to ‘race’, were not fully resolved in the preamble, and a degree of universalist myopia prevailed in the discussions of minorities, obfuscating the question of who the likely victims of racial discrimination would turn out to be.

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