Declaration by the High Representative Federica Mogherini on behalf of the European Union on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March 2015 (21/03/2015)

Today we celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

This year we also celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the adoption the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. The convention is the bedrock for the worldwide fight against racial discrimination. And as such it continues to remind us that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and that any assumptions or beliefs to the contrary are wrong and morally false. This is why the convention should be universally ratified and implemented.

Racial discrimination, incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence directed at persons due to their belonging to a certain ethnicity or religious group, and acts of violence motivated by racism and xenophobia strike at the very heart of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms and should never be tolerated.

Vigorous measures for preventing and combating all forms and manifestations of racism, and xenophobia are indispensable for the building of safe, inclusive and pluralist societies, based on the values of diversity, tolerance and mutual respect. These shall include not only effective legal responses, but also preventive measures that promote social inclusion and equality of all members of society.

In all its strengthened efforts to eliminate racial discrimination, the EU will continue its cooperation with partner countries as well as international organisations, such as the United Nations, Council of Europe and the OSCE, and relevant civil society organisations. EU Actions will pay particular attention to all persons who are made the most vulnerable through cumulative and multiple forms of discrimination.

Now more than ever there is a need for the world community to take determined and effective measures at national, regional, and international levels to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.