STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. EMAD MORCOS MATTAR, COUNSELLOR OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 72: ELIMINATION OF RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE, AT THE THIRD COMMITTEE OF THE 73RD SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 29 October 2018)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda Item 72: Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
2. At the outset, allow me to thank 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 are deeply concerned about the alarming resurgence of all scourges of racism in our societies. In the past half century, efforts have been made to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, but regrettably, historical and new forms of injustices persist in all walks of life. Prejudice and hatred against people of a different race, religion, or social status continue to afflict our communities and societies.
4. The Group of 77 and China reiterate their 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 many parts of the world, and reaffirm that all forms of racial discrimination constitute serious violations of human rights, which must be rejected through all political and legal means.
5. The Group of 77 and China also express 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, the Group of 77 and China condemn the misuse of communications technologies, and the Internet as safe harbours for groups that promote racial superiority, intolerance, hate speech and incitement allowing them to disseminate such malicious ideologies.
6. The Group of 77 and China reiterate the need for political and religious leaders and media figures to fulfil their responsibilities in combating hate speech and stereotyping, and to adopt clear, strong and unequivocal positions against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. We recognize the need for the Group of Independent Eminent Experts to carry out their role in mobilizing such political will. The Group of 77 and China also note 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 of 77 and China reaffirm the critical role of education to confront the dissemination of messages of racism and racial discrimination, including 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, The Group of 77 and China reiterate the urgent need to adopt and implement effective measures and policies that encourage all individuals and institutions to take a stand against racial discrimination, and move from rhetoric to its genuine elimination.
8. The Group of 77 and China wish to reaffirm their 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.
9. The Group of 77 and China reiterate their 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. The Group of 77 and China welcome 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 consultative mechanism, as well as the elaboration of a draft UN declaration on the rights of People of African descent.
11. In closing Mr. 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". 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.