I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania , the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights without distinction of any kind. More than 70 years after the adoption of the UDHR we need to continue to remind ourselves of the promise of that founding document, we need to redouble of efforts to fight discrimination and the discourse of hate that fuels violence and divide.
Racism, xenophobia and prejudice are on the rise, fear-based policies are creating a climate of crisis; entrenching divisions instead of celebrating diversity, and compounding the suffering of the most vulnerable.
The international community has developed instruments to fight this scourge, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, currently with 181 State parties is the centre piece of the framework, and we need to continue to promote ratification and its full implementation.
The Human Rights Council has numerous mechanisms focusing on fighting racism: the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of Racism, the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the Ad-Hoc Committee on Complementary Standards, the Group of Independent Eminent Experts on the Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. However most of these mechanisms meet in half empty rooms, we need to find ways of revitalizing the work, of streamlining these mechanisms and making our work more relevant.
We need to focus on implementing, including the Program of Activities of the International Decade on People of African Descent. In this regard we welcome the leadership of Senegal and the organization of the regional seminar for Africa next month.
Countering all expressions of racism and xenophobia is a priority for the European Union all and requires a joint effort. All actors must speak up to counter the narratives of hate and intolerance. It is our duty to show and exercise political leadership, to prioritise dignity and equality, and demonstrate our capacity to take a rights-based approach to all our actions, both at the national and international level.
The Human Rights Council must strengthen its contribution to combat racism, by becoming a loud anti-racism voice.
I thank you.
*The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.