The 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
28 February to 1 April 2022
Statement of the International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Agenda Item 9: General debate on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
28 March 2022
By Mutua K. Kobia
Thank you President,
It is a deep shame that racism remains widespread and, in many instances, even blatant despite 75 years of UN anti-racism efforts. At the same time, we are deeply disappointed by the lack of urgency to eliminate such an environment that breeds further hatred, division, and spreads the evils of racism and racial discrimination. It is also disturbing to learn that there have been efforts to actually boycott the DDPA.
While there are successes they are not enough. Clearly efforts and real commitment to rid the evil of racism are lacking – as many victims remain invisible so do oppressors who enjoy impunity. We note that some of the reasons that contribute to this state is a lack of or weak political will and opposition to achieve equality.
Education is key to preventing the rise and spread of racism and racial discrimination. We recall that one of the most important measures for protection is education and as rightly mentioned in the DDPA. Implementation of formal and informal education measures towards eradicating racism by governments and UN bodies is obviously not up to par. Proper education should promote diversity and prevent racial discrimination however, as seen in many instances today systemic racism prevents this.
To this end we urge states to re-commit themselves to the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination and adopt effective measures particularly in formal and informal education. We once again call on all states to publish the Programme of Activities for the International Decade and effectively disseminate publications in all official UN languages.