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Secretary-General Calls Racism ‘a Deeply Rooted Global Evil’, in Message to Mark International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed on 21 March:

Last year, people around the globe took to the streets to protest the vicious global pandemic of racism.  They recognized racism for what it is.  Dangerous.  Abhorrent.  Ugly.  And everywhere.

Racism is a deeply rooted global evil.  It transcends generations and contaminates societies.  It perpetuates inequality, oppression and marginalization.

We see racism in the pervasive discrimination suffered by people of African descent.  We see it in the injustices and oppression endured by indigenous peoples and other ethnic minorities.  We see it in the repugnant views of white supremacists and other extremist groups.  Wherever we see racism, we must condemn it without reservation, without hesitation, without qualification.

This year, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination highlights the important role of youth, who have been in the forefront of the fight against racism.  Young people’s attitudes and behaviour will dictate the future shape and look of our societies.  So, I appeal to young people everywhere, as well as educators and leaders, to teach the world that all people are born equal.

Supremacy is an evil lie.  Racism kills.  On this day, and every day, let us work together to rid the world of the pernicious evil of racism so all may live in a world of peace, dignity and opportunity.


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