Group of 20 leaders calls for more UN actions to end racism in the world | Human Rights | SAHIFAT ASSALAM QATAR 

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Direitos Humanos / 16/06/2020


Group of 20 leaders calls for more UN actions to end racism in the world

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Group of 20 leaders calls for more UN actions to end racism in the world

Fonte ONU

A group of more than 20 UN leaders, who report directly to Secretary-General António Guterres and are African or of African descent, signed a personal and forceful statement expressing indignation at widespread and systemic racism, highlighting the need for the United Nations “Go further and do more” than just expressing repudiation.

Leaders urge the UN to “step up and act decisively to help end systemic racism against people of African descent and other minority groups”, citing Article 1 of the United Nations Charter, which stipulates that the UN promotes and encourages “ respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, regardless of race, sex, language or religion ”.

A group of more than 20 UN leaders, who report directly to Secretary-General António Guterres and are African or of African descent, signed a strong and personal statement expressing outrage over widespread and systemic racism, highlighting the need for the United Nations “Go further and do more” than just expressing repudiation.

Signatories to the letter published on Friday (12) include high-level heads of UN agencies, such as Tedros Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Winnia Byanyima, executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), and Natalia Kanem, who runs the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA).

The manifesto begins by evoking the death of George Floyd, the black man killed after a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. “A desperate call by the mother who left a long time ago, reaching deeply into the bowels of fragile humanity. Struggling to breathe. Begging for mercy. The whole world heard the tragic cry ”.

Citing the “profound trauma and suffering faced by generations” that resulted racial injustice, particularly against people of African descent, the article written in their personal capacities states that it is time to go further than simply condemning acts of racism, described as “A global scourge that has perpetuated over the centuries”.

Time to speed up

Leaders urge the UN to “step up and act decisively to help end systemic racism against people of African descent and other minority groups”, citing Article 1 of the United Nations Charter, which stipulates that the UN promotes and encourages “ respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, regardless of race, sex, language or religion ”.

Highlighting the historic role of the UN in crucial struggles against racism - such as the end of apartheid in South Africa, the emancipation of former African colonies and the civil rights movement in the United States - the text asks the United Nations to “use its influence to remind once again the unfinished business of eradicating racism and urging the community of nations to remove the stain of racism on humanity ”.

Recognizing the efforts of the UN chief to combat systemic racism at all levels, including within the United Nations, the letter's authors note that the Organization should set an example, with “an honest assessment of how we defend the UN Charter in our institution".

Obligation to manifest

The leaders said their solidarity with peaceful demonstrations, such as protests organized by Black Lives Matter and other groups that defend racial justice and "other mass demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality", were "in line with our responsibilities and obligations, as international civil servants, to stand up and demonstrate against oppression ”.

They added that "as leaders, we share the core beliefs and values ​​and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter that do not leave us the option to remain silent".

The statement further states that employees are committed to harnessing their knowledge, leadership and mandates, to "address the causes and structural changes that must be implemented if we are to end racism".

The article ends with quotes renowned human rights and anti-racism activists, including Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and the statement by Archbishop Desmond Tutu that “the liberation of blacks is an absolutely indispensable prerequisite for the liberation of whites: no one will be free until we are all free ”.


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