STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE DELEGATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA DURING THE GENERAL DISCUSSION OF THE THIRD COMMITTEE OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON AGENDA ITEM "ELIMINATION OF RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE" (New York, 27 October 2023)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda Item 71: Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
2. At the outset, the Group thanks the Secretary-General for the submission of the reports under this agenda item, which will certainly contribute to our deliberations.
3. The Group remains deeply concerned about the alarming resurgence of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance across the world, despite efforts made to combat these scourges in the past half century. Historical and new forms of injustices persist in all walks of life. Prejudice and hatred against people of a different race, ethnic or national origin, religion or social status continue to be part of the daily lives of millions of people, particularly in developed countries.
4. Against this backdrop, the Group reaffirms that all human are equal in dignity and rights, as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Vienna Declaration and Programme for Action, whose 75th and 30th anniversaries, respectively, are celebrated this year.
5. Against this situation, the Group reiterates its strong opposition to all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The Group also expresses its deep concern on the resurgence of contemporary forms of discrimination and intolerance in many parts of the world, and reaffirms that all forms of racial discrimination constitute serious violations of human rights, that must be unequivocally rejected through all political and legal means.
6. The Group also expresses grave concern over the growing incitement of hatred and intolerance, as well as racial profiling, including by law enforcement institutions, and negative stereotyping on any grounds and against any persons. The Group condemns the misuse of communications technologies, social media platforms and the Internet to promote racial superiority and xenophobia, intolerance, hate speech and incitement to violence and discrimination.
7. In this regard, the Group reiterates the need for political and religious leaders and media leaders 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. We 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.
8. The Group is convinced of the power of education to eradicate all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Education allows to confront the dissemination of messages of racism and racial discrimination, deconstruct prejudices and stereotypes, create new values and attitudes, and foster interfaith and intercultural dialogue towards tolerance and unity, and the respect for cultural and religious diversity and the equal dignity of all, especially among young people.
9. The Group reiterates 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. We cannot afford to allow the scourges of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to continue to grow into our societies. Humanity already knows what happens when the dangerous and false idea of racial or ethnic superiority is not fought back.
10. The Group reaffirms its unwavering 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.
11. The Group reiterates its strong 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 be a priority.
12. The Group continues to support the Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent, as well as the recently established Forum of People of African descent and the elaboration of a draft UN declaration on the rights of People of African descent.
13. To conclude, this year the Group of 77 and China will again present the resolution entitled "A Global call for concrete action for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action". We look forward to receiving the valuable contribution and support from Member States to this resolution and what it stands for. It is an important opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to the eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
14. The Group of 77 and China will continue to be a leading voice in the fight against the scourges of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.