WJC @ UNHRC 46: Mainstreaming the fight against racism and antisemitism within the UN
Representative delivering the statement: Mr. Leon Saltiel
Thank you, Madam President.
The World Jewish Congress is honoured to take the floor in today’s panel, in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. We have always supported the mainstreaming of the fight against racism and antisemitism within the United Nations and have consistently spoken in support of all victims of hatred.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently affirmed: “Racism plagues our world. It is abhorrent. It is ugly. And it is everywhere. We must condemn it without reservation, without hesitation, without qualification.”
Indeed, hate is moving into the mainstream. The current pandemic has exacerbated manifestations of hatred that have long been on the rise. The expansion of social media allows for hateful messages, conspiracy myths and disinformation to spread like wildfire. As a recent MIT study showed false news travels six times faster than truthful news. In this context, we are especially concerned about rising levels of antisemitism, the world’s oldest prejudice, around the world.
For the fight against racism to be successful, it has to be inclusive. Jews are often the first group to be scapegoated, even in countries without any Jewish population, but, unfortunately, they are not the last. History has shown that where there is hatred of Jews, hatred of others is also near at hand. In this spirit, the World Jewish Congress welcomes the participation of a young human rights defender fighting against antisemitism in today’s panel as a sign of our common struggle against racism and intolerance.
With this in mind, we would like to ask the members of panel: in which practical ways can this Council become a leader in the fight against racism and antisemitism so it can successfully contribute to their elimination?