Africa rejects racial superiority

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Bande and UN Sec Gen

By Prudence Arobani

Fifty four 54 African Members States, the largest regional group in the United Nations, has denounced and rejected any form of racial superiority.

The African Group at the United Nations in New York said the doctrine of superiority “is scientifically false and must be morally condemned’’.

Prof. Tijjani Bande, Nigerian Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations, made the declaration while delivering the statement of the African Group on the ‘Elimination of Racial Discrimination’.

Bande, who is Chair of African Group, stressed the need to mitigate and counter the rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies.

The Nigerian envoy said: “The African Group is concerned that racist extremist movements based on ideologies that seek to promote populist, nationalist agendas are spreading in various parts of the world.

“The Group is convinced that any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races.

“Nationalist populism that advances exclusionary or repressive practices and policies that harm individuals or groups on the basis of their race, ethnicity, national origin and religion, or other related social categories should be condemned”.

According to him, there is the need to promote the use of new information communication technologies, including the internet to contribute to the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The group called on states’ obligation under human right law to counter such extreme ideologies online, as well as the responsibilities of technology companies in light of human principles.

African Group also called on the international community and the UN family to support the implementation of the Global Plan of Action on Trafficking in Persons, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2010.

“The Group welcomes the decision of the UN to establish a permanent forum on people of African descent, which would serve as a consultation mechanism for people of African descent and other interested stakeholders as a platform for improving the quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent and to contribute to elaborating a United Nations declaration.

“This is the first step towards a legally binding Instrument on the promotion and full respect of human rights of people of African descent, including migrants and refugees, who are often the target of racist extremist movements based on ideologies that seek to promote populist, nationalist agendas.”

The African Group reiterated that all human beings were born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of societies.

The Group affirmed its commitment to fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on any basis.

The continental group stressed: “Slavery and the slave trade, including the transatlantic slave trade, apartheid and colonialism must never be forgotten.

“In this regard, the Group applauds the UN through the Department of Information and the International Community that honoured the memory of victims through the establishment of the permanent memorial commemorating 200 years of abolishing trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery at the premises of the United Nations, and continuing education outreach activities and promotions in retrospect on different sources of media, respectively”. (NAN)


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