48th session of the Human Rights Council.
Item 9: General Debate on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow‑up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries
5 October 2021
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I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Iceland.
The Nordic-Baltic countries are committed to combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
The inherent dignity and equal rights of all individuals, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, should be self-evident. However, no society is immune from racism and racial discrimination.
All too often, individuals and groups of people are discriminated against – be it with regard to access to health care, education or employment – based on the way they look or as persons belonging to religious, national or ethnic minorities. This is unacceptable.
Online hate speech is another all too common manifestation of racism and racial discrimination, which contributes to hate crime. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic, made matters worse and the world witnessed an increase in racist comments in the online space. This cannot be tolerated and must be stopped. The responsibility lies with every single one of us as inhabitants of this planet.
As another urgent issue, we strongly condemn systemic racism and racially motivated violence, both in the virtual space and in our everyday life.
States bear a responsibility to combat and prevent racial discrimination. We must never forget that - it is our joint obligation to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. We can only achieve this goal by working together.