‘Rays of hope despite dark picture,’ UN Secretary Gen on racial discrimination

  • March 23, 2017

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, while expressing optimism amidst increasing racial discrimination in the world said that ‘there are many rays of hope despite the dark picture.’

He was speaking at the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21.

The Secretary General added, “Discrimination and violence are rising. People are being targeted because of their race, nationality, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. Borders are being closed and the international refugee protection regime is being undermined. In a time of upheaval and change, it is easy to paint vulnerable communities as the cause of problems. Migrants have become convenient scapegoats, and xenophobia widespread. Women and girls of minority communities are often targeted. Many minorities are experiencing racial profiling by authorities. Far too often, hate speech, stereotyping and stigmatization are becoming normalized. Fringe figures have moved to centre stage in many political systems.”

“I applaud civil society organisations around the world for reminding us that we need to do better and to do more. We all have a role to play and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination highlights our collective responsibility. After all, racial discrimination destabilizes societies, undermines democracies and erodes the legitimacy of governments. By acting together to end discrimination, we can lift humanity as a whole.

As societies become multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural, we will need greater political, cultural and economic investments in inclusivity and cohesion in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

We can build communities that recognize that diversity is not a source of weakness, it is a source of strength and richness. Let us stand up against intolerance and eliminate discrimination. Let us join forces in our global campaign — Together for Respect, Safety and Dignity for all.”

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