Agenda Item 9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance: follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Presentation of report of Inter-Governmental Working Group on Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, High Commissioner Oral Update on Systemic Racism (res.43/1)
Statement by: International-Lawyers.Org
Delivered by: Alejandro Fernández / GICJ
19 March 2021
Thank you, President,
We welcome the report submitted by the Working Group and support its findings to redouble efforts at the national and international level to eliminate racism and other forms of intolerance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the persistence of racial inequality across all levels of society. Unequitable access to healthcare services led to disproportionate rates of morbidity and mortality; inadequate housing made compliance with lockdown policies all the more challenging; unstable employment made it impossible to work from home; and derelict detention facilities offered fertile ground for the virus to wreak havoc.
Racism enhances the impacts of other man-made challenges such as poverty and climate change. These in turn have harmful impacts on the health of minorities and their access to health care.
As we begin the second half of the International Decade for People of African Descent, governments must go beyond words and take action. To fight racism is to fight for social justice. Universal healthcare, affordable housing, decent labour conditions, comprehensive social security and access to digital technologies should be our weapons. The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action expressly recognized that socioeconomic inequality is both a cause and a consequence of racism.
International Lawyers and Geneva International Centre for Justice urge States to increase public awareness about the commitments agreed upon in the Durban Declaration and to strengthen their efforts to realize the economic, social and cultural rights of marginalized communities around the globe.
Thank you, President
Justice, Human rights, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre For Justice