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Friday, 20 March 2015

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2015, March 21


2015 Theme: "Learning from historical tragedies to combat racial discrimination today"
Тема Дня 2015 года «Извлекать уроки из прошлых трагедий, чтобы бороться с расизмом сегодня»
El tema del 2015 es: «Aprender de las tragedias históricas para combatir la discriminación racial del presente»
Thème 2015 : « Apprendre des tragédies historiques pour mieux lutter contre la discrimination raciale »
2015年主题:从历史悲剧中吸取教训,抗击今日种族歧视
موضوع عام 2015:
التعلم من المآسي التاريخية لمكافحة التمييز العنصري اليوم




United Nations Secretary-General Message for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2015.



“Learning from past tragedies to combat racism today”

Every day, people of all ages endure hatred, injustice and humiliation because of their skin colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, or other supposedly racial characteristics.  Such discrimination has underpinned oppression, poverty, slavery, genocide and war. 
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an opportunity to renew our commitment to building a world of justice and equality where xenophobia and bigotry do not exist.  We must learn the lessons of history and acknowledge the profound damage caused by racial discrimination.  That means carefully preserving the memory of historical wrongs so we may use our knowledge to eradicate prejudice and teach tolerance, non-discrimination and respect for diversity everywhere and for all. 
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent.  In the past fifty years, there has been progress in the fight against racism and racial discrimination.  We have seen the end of colonialism, the dismantling of apartheid and the rise of a global movement for equality.  Yet, as history and current events attest, racial discrimination still presents a clear danger to people and communities in all regions. 
Lasting peace can only be built on the premise that all people have equal rights and dignity – regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, social or other status.  To that end, I urge all nations to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to promote historical accuracy and put in place robust policies and laws that will end all forms of discrimination as enshrined in the Convention.

Ban Ki-moon






 FORUM : 21 March is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

This Year 2015, and as requested by the General Assembly, Presidents of the General Assembly and of the Human Rights Council will convene meetings both in New York and Geneva during the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination through a debate on the state of racial discrimination worldwide.
This year's theme “Learning from historical tragedies to combat racial discrimination today” aims to explore the root causes of racism and racial discrimination and will stress the essential need to learn the lessons history has provided in order to combat racism and racial discrimination today.

Events

In Geneva, a panel event and a movie screening will take place at the Palais des Nations on 20 March 2015.
Panellists will speak at the Human Rights Council about the importance of preserving the historical memory of past human rights tragedies, including slavery, the slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, apartheid, colonialism and genocide which have led to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. They will explore the need of elaborating educational and awareness raising materials with a view to contribute to eradicating contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination.
For the screening of the movie on racism, young people from secondary schools are invited to participate in the event and to hold an exchange of views about situations of day to day racism.
In New York, the same day, a panel event will take place at the United Nations Headquarters, with the participation of academics, including historians and experts from the civil society, active in the field of racism and racial discrimination.
  
The global fight against racism
On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, UN experts say the historical memory of past atrocity crimes must be preserved to strengthen the global fight against racism.

For further information, please contact registry@ohchr.org.


 Learning from historical tragedies is key to strengthen the global fight against racism International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Saturday 21 March 2015

GENEVA (20 March 2015) – Speaking ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, three United Nations experts on racism have called on Governments around the world to preserve the historical memory of past atrocity crimes to make more effective the global fight against racism.

The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Mutuma Ruteere; the  Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, Mireille Fanon Mendes-France; and the Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, José Francisco Cali Tzay, said that  breaking the silence on past human rights tragedies can only be achieved through political will and education.

“This year the International Day for the elimination of racial discrimination has a particular resonance as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and commence the International Decade for People of African descent (2015-2024).

Striving for a world free of racism and racial discrimination while remembering historical tragedies and inhumane actions, related to racial or ethnic hierarchizing and discrimination, which have affected global history and caused untold suffering are inseparable parts of the fight against racism that all actors must undertake. We continue to be confronted with evidence that we are still some way from realizing the goal of universal non-discrimination, inter-ethnic harmony and unbiased justice that so many have worked to achieve.

The complex linkages between past and contemporary forms of racism must indeed be considered to prevent racial discrimination, xenophobia, afrophobia and related intolerance and banish racism in our societies. In this respect, political will and education is key in breaking the silence on past human rights tragedies.

Often history books are silent about past atrocities committed in the name of race and ethnicity, falsify or distort historic facts, spread racial prejudice, and elude the history, cultures, traditions and positive contributions of those exposed to racism and discrimination, including people of African descent, minorities, migrants, indigenous peoples and other groups.

As we commemorate this important milestone for the ICERD, we can look back and see some great successes in the fight against racism; the most significant has been the end of Apartheid in South Africa.   But racism and discrimination is present today in our modern societies across the globe and in many forms.  Only by recognising and learning from history can we make past successes a contemporary reality.

We call upon States, and all relevant actors to adopt and implement measures to preserve historical memory of past atrocity crimes, to promote an accurate reflection of historical facts relating to past atrocities in text books and other educational material; to implement awareness-raising initiatives and ensure trainings for teachers on racial discrimination; prescribe unbiased schoolbooks that include the positive contribution of the victims of racial discrimination, while promoting more tolerance and respect for diversity.

We urge States to fully implement the ICERD as well as the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and the Programme of Activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice and Development which constitute key instruments in the global fight against racism including past atrocities.”


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