On behalf of 50 supporting countries, Slovak Foreign Minister Rastislav Káčer warned against the dangers of antisemitism and racism, saying that they “pose a constant and serious challenge to human rights and the dignity of every person," during the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council.
In welcoming the statement, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said, “As Jew hatred continued to surge, Foreign Minister Rastislav Káčer’s words are a reminder that we must never remain complicit in the face of bigotry.”
“I thank Slovakia for taking a lead on this issue, together with Austria and Czechia, at such a critical time and look forward to working together as we build a broad international coalition to fight this age-old hatred.”
"We are deeply concerned by the prejudices that are incited by conspiracy theories, often targeting Jewish communities,” said Foreign Minister Káčer. “As Holocaust denial and distortion, among others, are on the rise, we must ensure the accurate portrayal of history.”
The Foreign Minister also warned against disinformation and antisemitism on social media, lamenting “that they are increasingly revealing a darker side.”
As such, the Foreign Minister pledged to counter hate speech and Holocaust denial and distortion online and called for the UN to mainstream the fight against antisemitism, noting that “Just as hatred and hate speech are constantly transforming and adapting to new realities, so must our joint fight against them in broad coalitions.”
Concluding the statement, Káčer said “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.”
The statement was delivered on behalf of a wide cross-regional coalition that included the US, Canada, Australia, all EU member states, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, as well as Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates and many others.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg delivered a similar joint statement at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, during which he said that the “COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed many crises and has diverted our attention from critical developments. Such as rising antisemitism, intolerance and hatred. When we allow hate speech, conspiracy theories and disinformation to spread like a virus, they lead to violence and hate crimes.”
The statement by Slovakia and the overwhelming support from dozens of UN member states is an outcome of the longstanding efforts by the World Jewish Congress at the United Nations to mainstream the fight against antisemitism across the organization.
To read the whole statement, click here.