WJC @ UNHRC 46: Debate on midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent
Madam Deputy High Commissioner,
I am pleased to join you in commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
On this important occasion, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) wishes to reiterate its continued commitment to eliminating all forms of racism, antisemitism, xenophobia and related intolerance.
It comes as no surprise that in societies in which Jews are not safe, other minorities are not safe either.
Several decades after the Holocaust, the lesson of ‘Never Again’ goes unheeded as genocide, ethnic cleansing, and discrimination continue to take place in various parts of the world.
Unfortunately, racism and antisemitism are as present as ever, with increasing verbal and physical attacks around the world.
Antisemitism, much like racism, should not be considered an issue that only impacts “minorities”– it is an urgent concern for civil society as a whole.
The World Jewish Congress strongly believes in the importance of minorities working together to better understand each other, and to fight together against hatred and discrimination.
We encourage and propose numerous initiatives in this direction, especially through our leadership program, the World Jewish Congress Jewish Diplomatic Corps.
During the last two weeks of November, the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps held a major global conference entitled United Against Racism, to empower and train the members of this program on the importance of building personal and organizational alliances with other faith and minority communities.
The conference included 17 sessions with speakers representing faith and minority Stakeholders worldwide, including WJC President Ronald S. Lauder and Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP.
Members of the program met minority communities in their respective countries and established connections for exchange and dialogue. The idea was to allow for communities which have very little contact to get to know each other and act more effectively, together.
Similarly, the WJC works closely with major social media platforms to raise awareness about hateful content and online hate. Due to a joint effort of the WJC and various organizations, Facebook announced last October that it would remove Holocaust denial content from its online platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
More recently, in the wake of the violent assault against the Capitol Hill and on the recent hateful event of the last few months, the WJC called on all companies that operate online market places to strengthen and better enforce policies banning any product that promotes or glorifies white supremacy, racism, Holocaust denial, or any other type of hate.
The WJC encourages every affiliated community and Jewish institution to offer initiatives against racial discrimination in their respective country.
As a member of the WJC JDCorps programs and a staff member of CRIF – the Representative Council of the French Jewish Community, I had the opportunity to converse with Frédéric Régent, Professor at the Sorbonne University, specialized in the history of African slavery. Our conversation was held a few days after the French National Day for slavery remembrance and its abolition.
The World Jewish Congress therefore appeals to this Council to continue to promote and encourage diversity programs, to help communities to better understand and work together against racial discrimination.
And, in all those places where hate crimes, hate speech and racial violence have taken place, we encourage restorative justice, which helps to prevent the future reoccurrence of hate crimes.