Diène is scheduled to meet with federal and local government officials as well as members of diverse communities across the United States and representatives of several non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
On Thursday, May 22, 2008, a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People, Roberto Mukaro Borrero met with Mr. Diène in New York to highlight ongoing discrimination against indigenous Taino People in Puerto Rico and the U.S.
Borrero provided the Special Rapporteur with documentation based on the Shadow Report submitted by the UCTP, the Caney Quinto Mundo (CQM), and the Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos (CGTB) to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racism (CERD) in March 2008. The UCTP, CQM, and the CGTB also contributed Taino related information to the Shadow Report submitted by the International Indian Treaty Council to the CERD.
Following the recent CERD session, the Committee issued a critique of the United States' record on racial discrimination urging the government to make sweeping reforms to policies affecting racial and ethnic minorities, women, immigrants and indigenous peoples.
"The visit of the Special Rapporteur presents a unique opportunity to follow up on the information we provided to the CERD and will assist in bringing Taino concerns to the forefront of the U.N. system and its enforcement mechanisms," stated Borrero.
The mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance was established in 1993 by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and further extended by the U.N. Human Rights Council. Mr. Diène will submit a final report on the visit to the Human Rights Council in the spring of 2009.