General Debate under Item 9 :
General Debate Item 9: Xenophobia and hate speach
19 March 2019
Oral Statement by: Union of Arab Jurists and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)
Thank you, Mr. President.
We would like to draw the attention of the Council on the growing wave of hate speech all around the globe. We strongly condemn all forms of hate speech, especially from politicians. Fears about the others, and about those who are different, are recurring themes in human history.
However, we cannot allow fear to turn into hate. For instance, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance can lead not only to the denial of the most basic rights but also to hate crimes been committed. The unacceptable violent actions occurred last Friday in New Zealand are a clear example of this, as they were fueled by hate speech, fear-mongering and xenophobia.
Hate speech as an indirect form of racial discrimination has to be condemned in all circumstances. Therefore, our organization and Geneva International Centre for Justice appeal to all nations and individuals to combat the rising tide of anti-Islam, anti-migrant, anti-other sentiment.
Back in 2013, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights launched the Rabat Plan of Action on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. We call for States who have not done so to follow the guidelines set out in the Rabat Plan of Action and to enact law punishing hate speech.
In addition, we also call on States to implement the DDPA and its program of activities.