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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
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, as well as the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
I am pleased to address the General Assembly on the occasion of the Mid-Term Review of the International Decade for People of African Descent. It allows us to take stock of the steps taken to date and the way forward in the implementation of activities of the Decade.
The EU remains fully committed to the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination in all its forms, xenophobia and related intolerance including its contemporary forms, as well as to the promotion and protection of human rights for all without discrimination on any grounds.
The EU supports all efforts to eradicate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent and the activities currently undertaken under the Programme of Activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2025). We will continue to engage in the continued implementation of the Programme of Activities and to stress that it must be implemented in an efficient manner.
In the European Union, discrimination on grounds of racial and ethnic origin is prohibited and we take action to eliminate all forms of racism and racial discrimination, bearing in mind the European Union motto of ‘United in diversity’. In this regard, the first EU Anti-racism Summit was held in March this year, a kick-off moment for the implementation of the EU Anti-racism Action Plan announced last September.
Through this EU anti-racism action plan, the EU is tackling the issue of racism on all fronts to ensure a robust response to the stress-factors that our society and values face today. The anti-racism action plan sets outs a number of specific actions to tackle racism through EU law but also through other means, including national law enforcement, with media and civil society.
Since 2000, the Union has enacted legislation to combat racial discrimination and racist crime, and diverse policy efforts have sought to address racism at EU level. In 2018, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights issued a report titled “Being Black in the EU” examining the experiences of people of African descent in Europe.
Racism and discrimination are global phenomena, which require a global response. It is therefore essential that internal and external actions of the EU are coherent and mutually reinforcing.
The new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy raises the EU’s ambition on promoting non-discrimination and contains concrete actions to the fight against discrimination, including multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in all external EU action.
Racism in all its forms must be tackled in a comprehensive way by taking effective measures at the national, regional and international level, in particular through the ratification, full and effective implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which remains the universal foundation and must remain the priority for efforts, including financial efforts to prevent, combat and eradicate racism.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.