WASHINGTON — The Dominican Republic is not yet a party to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Cultural Convergence, a top diplomat said on Tuesday.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said last year that the country should be on the path toward being party to CERD, which it defines as “the Convention on Cultural Diversity, a treaty to which all countries must sign.”
The committee was set up in 1990 to tackle discrimination against the ethnic group of Dominicans.
In a statement on Tuesday, the CERd’s Permanent Secretary for Human Rights, Yolanda Guajardo, said the United States and other countries are committed to ending the country’s centuries-old “disparate treatment of the native population.”
She said it is a global problem and the Cerd is an important instrument to combat it.
The CERdr said it will be the first treaty of its kind, but noted that the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and other developed nations are members.
The committee will be meeting next week to finalize the text of the treaty, Guajardo said.
The Dominican Republic’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it is “disappointed by the news of the announcement of the CEC’s inclusion into the treaty.”
It said the country has a long history of protecting its culture and is committed to continuing to make significant contributions to the cultural dialogue and cooperation process.
The statement said the Cerca Republic has a strong commitment to cultural equality, the right of its citizens to enjoy a good life and the promotion of its diversity.
It said it has already taken measures to protect its culture, including establishing a cultural commission and promoting cultural exchange among all its residents.