The 51st Session of the Human Rights Council
12 September 2022 - 7 October 2022
General Debate Item 9 : Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
4 October 2022
Statement of Meezaan Center for Human Rights and Geneva International Centre For Justice
Delivered by Namrata Hazarika
Thank you, President
The role of the right to self-development in guaranteeing individual fundamental rights has been well covered throughout the council. This is why we wish to bring up how the Israeli occupation of Palestine for over 55 years has normalised Israel’s systematic discrimination based on nationality and ethnicity, denying Palestinians a chance at self-determination.
A recent example of such a practice stems from Israel’s housing policies in east Jerusalem that discriminates against Palestinian people. The existence of “discriminatory zooning” and “planning regimes” in the region prevent Palestinians from attaining access to housing, water, and sanitation. Such zoning also inadvertently restricts educational and healthcare opportunities available to Palestinians. All amount to a decreased standard of living. This is a clear case of racial segregation feeding an apartheid regime.
Meezaan Center for Human Rights and Geneva International Centre For Justice (GICJ) reiterate that the DDPA identifies the plights of Palestinians as racial discrimination against those under foreign occupation. Yet the gap between the promise and implementation of non-discriminatory policies by States is alarming. The lack of accountability borne by States is one of the core reasons for the escalation of the plight of Palestinians. Without implementation of the DDPA into national legislations, systemic racism will continue to breed.
We are at a stage in history where a universal narrative condemning all manifestations of racism is critical. Hence, delegates, don’t let the weight of your past eclipse the future.