STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. FABIAN GARCIA, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 70: ELIMINATION OF RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE, AT THE THIRD COMMITTEE OF THE 72ND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 31 October 2017)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda Item 70: Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
2. The Group thanks the Secretary-General for the submission of the reports under this agenda item, which will certainly help to enrich our deliberations.
3. The Group of 77 and China would like to underline that 52 years following the adoption of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance linger in the world's current affairs.
4. The Group wishes to reaffirm its commitment to the comprehensive, landmark and historic outcome of the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA). This outcome remains a solid basis and the only instructive instrument of the World Conference which prescribes comprehensive measures for combating all the scourges of racism and adequate remedies for victims.
5. The Group of 77 and China reiterates our opposition to all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. We express our deep concern on the resurgence of contemporary forms of discrimination and intolerance in all parts of the world, and reaffirm that all forms of racial discrimination constitute serious violations of human rights, which should be rejected through all political and legal means.
6. We also expresses our grave concern over the growing incitement of hatred and intolerance, as well as racial profiling and negative stereotyping on any grounds and against any persons, and in this regard, we condemn such acts propagated through new communications technologies, the Internet, and the media. The Group reiterates the need for political and religious leaders and the media to play an important role in combating hate speech and stereotypes, and to adopt clear, strong and unequivocal positions against racial discrimination. In this context, the Group notes the lack of progress in the elaboration of complementary standards to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which are intended to fill existing substantive gaps.
7. The Group reaffirms the critical role of education to stop the dissemination of messages of racism and racial discrimination, and we support the development of awareness-raising and education campaigns. The focus should be on deconstructing prejudices and stereotypes, creating new values and attitudes, and fostering interfaith and intercultural dialogue towards tolerance and unity, as well as raising global awareness about different cultures and religions, especially among young people. In this regard, we reiterate the urgent need to adopt and implement effective measures and policies that encourage all citizens and institutions to take a stand against racial discrimination, and move from rhetoric to its genuine elimination.
8. The Group of 77 and China welcomes the Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent, including the establishment of a forum to serve as a consultation mechanism, as well as the elaboration of a draft UN declaration on the rights of People of African descent.
9. The Group reiterates its support for the Durban Follow-up mechanisms and emphasizes the need to provide them with adequate and sustained resources. Furthermore, the reactivation of the Trust Fund for the Programme for the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination should receive priority.
10. In closing Mister Chair, following the practice of previous sessions, this year the Group of 77 and China will again table a resolution on "Global efforts for the total elimination of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of the follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action". The text this year will focus on the theme of Tolerance and Unity. We look forward to receiving the valuable contribution and support of all Member States, and hope that this important resolution will be adopted by consensus.