Debate in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Nordic – Baltic Statement Delivered by Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.
We commend and are committed to protect those who work at the forefront in combatting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including persons and communities of African descent. An inclusive civic space is imperative for positive change.
Racism causes suffering and mistrust between people. Being blatant or elusive, it can be a powerful tool to incite fear, even hate, and uphold power structures that serve only few.
It is key to increase full, equal and meaningful participation of persons from diverse backgrounds, especially those who have traditionally been marginalized, in all spheres of society. This requires dismantling structural inequalities and implementing well-targeted policy measures. Countering disinformation is crucial in preventing racism, including its use for political ends.
Women, girls as well as persons in vulnerable situations face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including based on racism. This can push them deeper into margins. Their concerns must be heard and acted upon.
Ending racism is hard but possible if we act decisively and have a shared mission pursued on policy, cultural and personal levels. We can reach a world free of racism where human rights are ensured for all and no one is left behind.
I thank you.