Human Rights Council Emphasizes Urgent Need for Action to Combat Racism and Discrimination

During a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council today, discussions centered on pressing issues related to racism, discrimination, and the rights of people of African descent. The Council engaged in a vital interactive dialogue with the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent and grappled with the report presented by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Epsy Campbell Barr, Chair of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, underscored the necessity of formulating a UN declaration on the promotion and protection of the rights of people of African descent. Despite strides made by some nations, systemic racism and discrimination persist, necessitating an urgent, holistic approach.

In a critical general debate on racism and related intolerance, global leaders highlighted the resurgence of anti-semitism and various contemporary forms of discrimination, calling for robust legislative measures to confront these challenges. Furthermore, the Council reiterated its commitment to implementing the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

The Council concluded an interactive dialogue with the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. Barbara G. Reynolds, Chair of the Working Group, stressed the urgency of a second International Decade for People of African Descent and urged meaningful discussions on reparatory justice. Recognizing the enduring impact of colonialism and economic inequalities, speakers emphasized the need for concerted political will to address historical injustices and promote equality for all.

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