|Joint Statement on Combating Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance|
Joint Statement on Combating Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
I have the honor to deliver a joint statement on behalf of the African Group and China, as well as the following co-sponsors: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belarus, Bolivia, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the State of Palestine, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, the Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste, and Turkmenistan.
20 years ago, member states of the United Nations gathered in Durban to outline a road map for the noble agenda of combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. As we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, we reaffirm that the global fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and all their abhorrent and evolving forms and manifestations should remain a matter of priority for the international community.
We reaffirm that all human beings are born free, equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies. Any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and must be rejected along with theories which attempt to determine the existence of separate human races.
We reaffirm that the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action in 2001, and the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference, adopted in 2009, as well as the Political Declarations of the tenth and twentieth anniversaries of its adoption, provide a comprehensive United Nations framework and solid foundation for combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and reaffirm our commitment to their full and effective implementation.
However, despite decades-long efforts, the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance remains a long and arduous task. The scourge of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance still persists all over the world, and countless human beings continue to fall victims of this scourge due to the persistent gaps in implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
Africans and people of African descent, Asians and people of Asian descent and indigenous peoples have long been suffering from systemic racism, racial discrimination and hate crime. We are particularly saddened by numerous tragic incidents due to racism and police brutality. Such instances are a reminder that chronic and deep-rooted racial discrimination, police brutality and social inequality still exist.
We are also gravely concerned that during the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation, disinformation, hate speech and racist remarks made by political and public figures have led to a surge of discrimination and hate crime against Africans and people of African descent and Asians and people of Asian descent, especially women, children and the elders.
There is no time to waste. The world needs a right choice. It is the time to choose to commit to uphold human dignity and equality for the victims of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism, in particular people of African descent and the African diaspora.
We welcome the announcement of the International Decade for People of African Descent, the establishment of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent as well as the convening of the High Level Meeting on the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action on 22 September. We also welcome the adoption of the Human Rights Council resolution 47/21 entitled “The promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and of people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers”, and call for its full implementation.
It is the time for all states and all stakeholders to seize the opportunity to take concrete measures to accelerate momentum for the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and combat all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
It is the time for relevant states to adopt necessary measures, as provided by national law, to ensure the right of victims to seek just and adequate remedies, reparation and satisfaction to redress acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and to design effective measures to prevent the repetition of such acts.
It is the time for all to make a real and transformative change. We cannot let our future generations continue to suffer from the brutality of racism and racial discrimination. So much needs to be done to ensure that no one is left behind.
Thank you, Mr. President.