Human Rights Council 45th Session.
Item 9 - racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow‑up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Statement, as delivered on behalf of NB8 - (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden) by
Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway
1 October 2020
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I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and my own country, Norway.
19 years after the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, racist statements and negative stereotypes, attitudes and prejudices are still far too common. This is a problem in many countries – including own our region.
Racist statements and negative stereotypes based on their ethnicity, colour of skin or religion affect individuals. However, it must not be seen and dealt with as a problem affecting only individuals or minority groups. This is a challenge for our democratic societies. This creates exclusion, fear and lower social mobility and is detrimental to the trust needed to safeguard and develop inclusive communities free of prejudice.
In our countries – as in other countries across the world, people are mobilizing against racism.
This clear call for change and action from civil society must be followed up by political action by member states. Specific and targeted measures are needed. Such measures could include national actions plans, campaigns against discrimination at restaurants, clubs et cetera, combating hate speech and a hostile debate environment and developing arenas for dialogue.
We need to strengthen our co-operation to create robust and inclusive democracies that promote dialogue, freedom of expression and diversity.
Our common goal is societies based on tolerance, freedom and justice, in which everyone enjoys equal opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, colour of skin or religion.