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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2014, March 21

Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2014.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an opportunity for women and men, along with the whole United Nations System, to renew their commitment to building a world of justice, equality and dignity, where racial discrimination has no place.
Racial discrimination violates the inherent rights and dignity of women and men. It holds back entire societies from lasting peace, and it sets obstacles before inclusive, sustainable development. Bigotry impoverishes the world, seeking to divide humanity against itself and undermine the inexhaustible strength that lies in our diversity. Equality and justice must guide us, no matter the circumstances. At this time of deep social transformation and global change, we can draw strength from the experience of the late Nelson Mandela and his determination to bridge divides despite all challenges.

On this day, we must recall that respect of others is essential to respect for ourselves and our own communities and that humanity is a single family, brought together by shared aspirations and a common destiny. Lasting peace can only be built on the equality and dignity of every woman and man -- regardless of ethnic, religious, gender, socioeconomic or other background. 

This cannot be taken for granted. There has been tremendous progress in making real the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – but racial discrimination and hatred, including hate-motivated actions and crimes, remain far too prevalent across the world. These threats are compounded by deepening inequalities, and rising exclusion and marginalisation, which weaken the fabric of societies.
Respect and tolerance are liberating acts, whereby the differences of others are recognized as the same as our own and whereby the riches of another culture are taken as the wealth of all.
This needs to be taught, because education remains the most powerful way to prevent racism and uproot discrimination. This is why UNESCO is advancing human rights education across the world, and developing new forms of education for global citizenship. In the classroom and outside, we need to start early, in teaching the values of respect, tolerance and solidarity -- by promoting sports and youth engagement, by safeguarding the common history of humanity, including the history of slavery and places of memory, and by fostering new alliances to challenge discrimination wherever it takes root.

UNESCO is acting all of these levels, through the Slave Route Project, through the safeguarding of cultural heritage of universal significance, as well as through such initiatives as the International Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination.
The fight against discrimination is one we must all lead, everyday, through our own actions – but, together, we can multiply our efforts to build a more just, equal world of dignity for all women and men. This is UNESCO’s message on the 2014 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

© UNESCO / Natacha Vasilenco

Organized jointly with the French Federation of UNESCO Clubs (FFCU), this day will aim at fostering discussion about how to fight against discrimination whilst respecting the individual identity of each and everyone among us.

Discrimination occurs on several grounds – race, ethnical origin, gender, class, age, sexual orientation, etc. – and often different forms of discrimination can take place at the same time. This means that every individual has a different experience of discrimination and therefore a different manner in which she or he expresses her or his identity in society. Boys and girls will have different experiences because of their gender, but there will also be differences based on other criteria.

So how are we to fight against these multiple types of discrimination? How are we to find, in these different and individual characteristics, signs of equality and recognition of the right to dignity of everyone?


Type of Event Category 3- Non-governmental conference
Start 21.03.2014 09:30 local time
End 21.03.2014 17:00 local time
Focal point Scarone Azzi, Marcello
Organizer UNESCO
Contact Marcello Scarone Azzi,
Country France
City Paris
Venue UNESCO Headquarters
Street 7, Place de Fontenoy
Room Room XI
Language of Event French
Estimated number of participants 250
Link 1 Programme (PDF in French)
Link 2 Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the Day
Link 3 UNESCO and the Fight against Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia
Link 4 Learning to Live Together

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