Racial Discrimination: Hate speech spreading like wildfire

United Nations, Mar 26  : Raise awareness of the dangers of racism and ‘stand up against old and new forms of slavery’ was the resounding message of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres during a special event marking the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
March 25, Mr Guterres observed the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination “to renew our promise to end racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including social and ethnic discrimination”.
At a commemorative event also in the General Assembly, he recalled the New Zealand mosques massacre in which 50 were killed allegedly by a self-avowed white supremacist gunman, as “the latest tragedy rooted in such poison”, saying that last Friday he visited the Islamic Center in New York to show solidarity and express his outrage.
“Today and every day, we must stand united against racial and religious hatred and the terrorism of bigots” spelled out the UN chief.
Alarmed by the current rise of xenophobia, racism and intolerance being fed by nationalist and populist ideologies, he asserted that “no country or community is immune”.
“Hate speech is entering the mainstream, spreading like wildfire through social media and radio… in liberal democracies and authoritarian States alike”, he underscored.
The UN chief argued that “these dark forces” menace democratic values, social stability and peace, and stigmatise women, minorities, migrants and refugees – diminishing society.
To combat hate speech, and “defend the principles of equality and human dignity”, Mr Guterres has asked his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, to coordinate a strategy and plan of action for the UN system.
“We need to engage everyone in dismantling the harmful and specious notion of racial superiority” he spelled out, emphasising that the recent surge of neo-Nazi thinking and white supremacist ideology must be buried “once and for all”. This can be supported by national legislation that promotes non-discrimination, and by politicians and religious leaders who speak out against intolerance and hate speech, said Mr Guterres.
He recounted how a white Englishman had stood in solidarity with New Zealand’s Muslim community days after the murders, by holding a placard at a mosque in the United Kingdom saying “You are my friends…I will keep watch while you pray.”
“We are all connected by our humanity. We are all equal. We should all be looking out for each other’s welfare” concluded the Secretary-General. promotes non-discrimination, and by politicians and religious leaders who speak out against intolerance and hate speech, said Mr Guterres.
He recounted how a white Englishman had stood in solidarity with New Zealand’s Muslim community days after the murders, by holding a placard at a mosque in the United Kingdom saying “You are my friends…I will keep watch while you pray.”
“We are all connected by our humanity. We are all equal. We should all be looking out for each other’s welfare” concluded the Secretary-General.
UNI.

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