Statement on behalf of the Western European and Other States Group on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, delivered by Germany, 21 March 2024

WEOG Statement - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

WEOG Statement - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, © German Mission to the UN

21.03.2024 - Speech

Statement delivered by Ambassador Antje Leendertse, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations.

Mr. President,
I have the honor to speak today on behalf of the Western European and Other States Group on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Today, we come together to also commemorate the International Decade for People of African Descent. We remain concerned that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are still prevalent and deeply rooted problems in societies across the globe. They can be a factor in intergenerational inequalities, discrimination and marginalization. The rise of nationalist and populist ideologies undoubtedly contributes to the global increase of racism and racial discrimination threatening the social fabric of our societies.
We reject and condemn all forms of racism and intolerance, including their contemporary forms and remain firmly committed to combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, both within our countries and throughout the world. We also stress the need to also address stereotyping, and stigmatization.
We consider it our responsibility to stand up against and fight all forms of racist harassment, hate speech and incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence irrespective of it being online or offline. We must dismantle the still prevailing societal structures that perpetuate systemic racism. In light of this, we reaffirm our commitment to our obligations under international law. And, as new challenges emerge, we will enhance our response at the national level to combat all forms of racial discrimination. It is also our responsibility to address racism through reliable sources of information, knowledge and accountability.
Therefore, it is crucial to renew our commitment to the full and effective implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. ICERD remains the central international instrument to combat racial discrimination worldwide. As States parties, we are striving to advance in the realization of the Convention’s goal of complete eradication of any racial discrimination. We therefore reiterate our call for the universal ratification of this Convention.
We note the role of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in monitoring the effective implementation of the Convention, in particular by examining the reports of States Parties and, where recognized by States, dealing with individual communications, as well as drafting General recommendations .
We also note the Durban Declaration and Program of Action and its follow-up mechanisms.
We declare our strong support to the important mandate of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism. We welcome the accountability added by the Special Rapporteur’s appeals, the submissions of reports to the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, and fact-finding country visits.
We also look forward to our participation in the third session of the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent in 2024.
In the shared endeavor to creating societies free of racism and defined by inclusion, tolerance and acceptance, we are guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its core principle that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
I thank you.

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