On the occasion of the International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the High-Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Moratinos stresses that we are witnessing an increasing wave of racism, xenophobia and stigma sowing the seeds of hatred and division at a time when we need to be united and stand in solidarity against today’s unprecedented health challenge of COVID-19 that poses a threat to humankind.
The High Representative recalls the Sharpeville massacre when police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid on 21 March 1960. He says “we mark the anniversary of that tragic day to remind ourselves that despite the progress made to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, there are still millions of people around the world who are still victims of racism, stigma and misogyny because of their color, ethnicity, religion or gender”.
The High Representative reiterates that the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) upholds and promotes the motto “Many cultures, One Humanity”. UNAOC recognizes that we should transition from tolerance as a noble human virtue to acceptance and respect of the other as a noble human act.
In this spirit, let us stand up collectively against hate speech and stigma and embrace compassion and diversity as we work diligently to eliminate all forms of discrimination.