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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Montenegro*, Serbia*and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Ukraine and Armenia align themselves with this statement.
Diversity, respect for human dignity, human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law are the founding values of the EU. The "Never Again" which was at the origin of the European project, after WWII, has been translated into law, into norms banning any form of discrimination of whatever origin, criminalising incitement to hatred and violence and ensuring the right to make life choices freely, according to our personal beliefs.
But this is not enough – we need to address the challenges and dangers linked to all forms of racial discrimination and all forms of hatred that we face in our modern societies, where hate speech is amplified by social media and social platforms.
Concrete steps have been taken, from the Code of Conduct with the Global Tech companies, new rules to remove terrorist content on–line, an action plan to protect public spaces with a focus on religious premises, an action plan on fighting disinformation, the creation of a high-level group on racism and xenophobia, and many other projects. We are committed to do our share.
We would like to thank Ambassador Shara Duncan Villalobos, DPR of Costa Rica, for her leadership in steering the 10 May consultations on the modalities for a Forum for People of African Descent and the 18 June follow-up discussion. We hope that the good cooperation between all stakeholders will continue and that the modalities of the Forum are defined through a standalone resolution to be presented in the General Assembly. The EU will continue to be guided by UN General Assembly resolution 69/16 on the Programme of Activities for the International Decade for People of African Descent adopted by consensus in 2014.
This year has been reminding us too frequently of the need to continue to do more in the fight against xenophobia, racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and in rights, ICERD contributes to make the ideal of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a reality. The ICERD currently has 181 State-parties, we should strive for its universal ratification and full implementation.
Thank you Mr. President.
* Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.