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STATEMENT - Urgent Debate, 18 June 2020

STATEMENT by First Secretary Sean Lobo
Human Rights Council 43nd Session. Urgent Debate. 18 June 2020                                                                                     

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Madam President,

Non-discrimination is a human right, and promoting non-discrimination is one of the key purposes of the United Nations.

Equality in dignity and rights is the premise upon which the Universal Declaration on Human Rights was drafted.

Norway strongly condemns all kinds of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Racism and discriminatory attitudes do not just harm and stigmatize individuals or groups, it also deteriorates societies and fundamental democratic values.

The Norwegian Government recently launched a national action plan against racism and discrimination based on ethnicity and religion, with 50 action points to improve the situation in Norway.

One of which is to finance new research on the state of racial discrimination in Norway. Other measures include intensified efforts to combat hate speech and promote increased awareness about racism in schools. 

Racism and discrimination are not limited to a few countries. Across the world, including in Norway, we have recently witnessed a mobilisation against racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. 

It is important that we listen when peaceful protestors and civil society draw attention to police brutality and speak up against structural racism.

We should seize this momentum created by public outcry to intensify our efforts for non-discrimination in our own countries.

Madame President,

The recent weeks’ extensive protests have shown a strong international engagement against racism. This urgent debate is a direct result of that. We encourage all States and Stakeholders to come together so that this global challenge can be understood and dealt with through solutions based on constructive dialogue and cooperation.

I thank you.