Eliminating racial discrimination
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21. In his 2008 message, the Director-General of UNESCO calls us to redouble our efforts to eliminate racial discrimination, to work together to stop racial violence and to eliminate the ignorance and prejudice that lies behind this violence and oppression.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, acknowledged the progress that has been made since the day was established in 1966 but stated that racism and discrimination remain major problems for today’s world.
Koïchiro Matsuura called for action to end the suffering and killing of millions of men and women because of their colour, ethnicity, religion or social status. The Director-General stated, “Our work this year carries particular significance, as it coincides with the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations has chosen as its motto for this occasion ‘dignity and justice for all of us’.
“This is intended as a powerful reminder that human rights and fundamental freedoms belong to everyone, without distinction of any kind.
“Let us use this joint anniversary to redouble our efforts to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms. Let us work together to stop the racial violence that destroys the lives of so many individuals and communities, often the poorest and most vulnerable. Above all, let us eliminate the ignorance and prejudice that lies behind this violence and oppression.”
From: Specific Issues Committee, Asylum Seekers and Refugees (Sisters Sally Bradley, Claudette Cusack, Geraldine Mugavin and Lorraine Phelan). The Committee warmly invites your response to the article or the issue.
Contact: Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator