The EU thanks the Working Group for its latest report on the important matter of COVID-19, systemic racism and global protests.
The EU agrees that States should prioritize human rights, even in times of emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences are having a disproportionate impact on persons in vulnerable situations and are deepening pre-existing inequalities. In this context response measures must take into account in particular the needs of those at risk of racism, racial discrimination, stigmatisation, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination.
The EU remains determined in fighting all forms of racism and racial discrimination. Within the EU, discrimination on grounds of racial and ethnic origin is prohibited under the Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Countering racism requires determined action across many fields. Against this background, on September 18th, the European Commission published a new EU Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-2025 which sets out a series of measures to step up action and to bring together actors at all levels to address racism more effectively.
What we need is a concerted and global approach – which combines preventive measures, dialogue, educational programs, promotion of tolerance and pluralism. Which additional elements would you prioritise?
I thank you Mr President.