UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Annual High-Level Panel on Human Rights Mainstreaming
The state of play in the fight against racism and discrimination 20 years after the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action and the exacerbating effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on these efforts
22 February 2021
Statement by the Nordic and Baltic Countries
Madam President, Excellencies, distinguished colleagues,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Finland.
We welcome the High-Level Panel on the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action,. and give our full support to the Secretary-General’s efforts towards the total elimination of racism globally.
Racist attitudes and statements are still far too prevalent. All over the world, people are discriminated against, harassed, and assaulted because of the colour of their skin, their ethnicity or their religion.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination as well as systematic and structured racism. Persons belonging to religious, national or ethnic minorities are disproportionally affected due to discrimination related to education, employment, and access to health services.
Disinformation, hate speech and violence both online and offline, have increased during the pandemic. This has to end.
We, the Nordic and Baltic countries are committed to building back better, to continue to work against racism racial discrimination, and hate speech, to increase social cohesion, and the respect for human rights, the rule of law, accountability and democracy in our societies and globally.
In your view, what needs to be done to combat incitement to violence or hatred and disinformation and to promote safe digital spaces to enable everyone to use their voices online, without threats of violence or hatred?
I thank you.