Today UNESCO adopted a global call against racism, spearheaded by the Republic of Korea (@unescokr_eng) and a large number of co-sponsors. #COVID-19 has unleashed a pandemic of dangerous disinformation, hate speech and violence against certain ethnicities or nationalities. Together we can #stopracism.
Since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace must be constructed.
Throughout the history, racism creates the conflicts and hatred in the minds of men and women, disrupting mutual understanding and trust to build peace in the world. Racism also impedes the United Nations’ efforts for the social dimension of sustainable development.
The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a parallel pandemic of dangerous disinformation, hate speech and violence against certain ethnicities or nationalities. Under these circumstances, we as Member States are more than ever committed to reinforcing the fight against racism to promote inclusion, non-discrimination, and solidarity of mankind. Existing inequalities have deepened and the crisis risk to undermine progress that has been made in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular with regard to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
This is why we, Member States, firmly condemn all forms of racism. In this regard, we are calling on the world to take action and join the efforts led by UNESCO in its fields of competence to address the root causes of racism to reject any act of racial discrimination, incitement to racial hatred and/or racial hate crimes following resolution 40 C/81 of the General Conference of UNESCO.
Firstly, through education, particularly the Global Citizenship Education programme, UNESCO works to ensure that schools promote inclusiveness, solidarity, gender equality, the culture of peace and non-violence and respect for others, and provide opportunities for students to reflect and discuss these issues and their personal responsibility. Furthermore, education is essential in combating deadly stereotypes and prejudices. UNESCO’s work to prevent discrimination and stigmatization, especially the training of teachers and awareness-raising of decision-makers, contributes to these efforts;
Through the promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, which is a factor of unity and pride for many communities, and through the protection of the uniqueness of every culture, UNESCO is committed to preserving cultural diversity and respect for others;
Through projects such as “The Slave Route: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage”, UNESCO is fighting racism and discrimination with the involvement of cities, museums, site managers and itineraries of memory;
Through the implementation of public policies and awareness-raising activities, like those put in place at the local level, particularly by the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and the Creative Cities Network, UNESCO fights racism and discrimination on a daily basis;
Through the promotion of freedom of expression, freedom of the press, safety of journalists, and media literacy programmes, UNESCO supports a free, diverse and pluralistic media, and works to develop critical thinking among citizens;
UNESCO strengthens the global values of education and addresses the younger generations, giving them the tools they need for their engagement. Global citizenship, the value of sport and civic spaces for open and inclusive dialogue are essential elements for the younger generations to open up an inclusive dialogue.
We will continue to support the work of UNESCO to fight racism, including through further exchanges of best practices and experiences on this issue, thereby defending human rights including gender equality and putting humanity at the heart of our political, economic, social and cultural system.
We must take action now, all together