Agenda Item 9 - General Debate
Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
IUS PRIMI VIRI and Geneva International Centre for Justice hail the efforts of this Council and Member States to take measures in order to combat discrimination based on freedom of religion and belief.
Cultural diversity is the rule rather than the exception in most States nowadays. According to recent estimates, the UN’s 206 member states contain over 600 living language groups, and 5,000 ethnic groups. In very few countries can the citizens be said to share the same language, or belong to the same ethnonational group. While xenophobic violence is ongoing and refugee flows are bigger than ever –with the refugee population amounting to more than 3 percent of the global population- the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration by all member States is an imperative need.
As pointed out by the honourable delegate of South Africa during yesterday’s Debate on Racial Discrimination, when it comes to xenophobia and racism, there must not be any separation between ‘them’ and ‘us’. We should not see ourselves in opposition with the perpetrators. This stance increases hatred rather than diminishing it. Segregating between the racists and us constitutes nothing more than further discrimination. We have to make step forwards together if we actually want to fight discrimination, if we really want to be Nelson Mandela’s legacy.