Human Rights Council 51st session
Joint statement on combating antisemitism and online hatred
Item 9 General Debate
3 October 2022
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Austria, Czechia, and my own country, Slovakia, with the support of a cross-regional group of countries.
The Internet and new technologies have brought many ground-breaking opportunities: they connect the world, facilitate information sharing, improve access to knowledge and the free circulation of ideas. During the pandemic they allowed us to stay connected and better cope with new challenges together.
Regrettably, today, the Internet and social media are increasingly revealing a darker side. The ease and speed with which hate speech and disinformation are able to spread and reach a large audience all across the globe is deeply worrying.
Racism, antisemitism and all other forms of related intolerance and hatred pose a constant and serious challenge to human rights and the dignity of every person.
We have witnessed that hateful rhetoric leads to acts of hatred, including multiple instances of attacks and violence directed against persons belonging to minorities worldwide.
We are deeply concerned by the prejudices that are incited by conspiracy theories, often targeting Jewish communities.
As Holocaust denial and distortion, among others, are on the rise, we must ensure the accurate portrayal of history.
We welcome the resolution on Holocaust denial adopted by consensus by the United Nations General Assembly as well as the work of the UN, UNESCO, OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Council of Europe, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the European Union and all others to counter this phenomenon.
Social media and the online world should not be abused as a space for spreading disinformation, hate, distorted truth. They should connect, educate, help to understand and bring us closer to each other.
We restate our commitment to combat antisemitism and all forms of racism, intolerance, prejudice and discrimination – anywhere, at any time, including online.
We pledge collective action throughout the entire UN system to mainstream the fight against antisemitism.
We pledge to counter hate speech and Holocaust denial and distortion online.
We pledge to respect, protect and promote the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information.
We pledge to empower civil society, support media sustainability and promote digital literacy in order to support better differentiation between reliable, verified information and unverified information.
Just as hatred and hate speech are constantly transforming and adapting to new realities, so must our joint fight against them in broad coalitions.
Therefore, we also call international organizations, governments, civil society, tech companies and all stakeholders to increase their efforts, and create alliances to prioritize the fight against antisemitism and all forms of racism, intolerance, prejudice and discrimination.
List of signatories
- Bosnia and Hercegovina
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Kitts and Nevis
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America