By JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS (PA) – The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday pledged to redouble its efforts to combat racism around the world, commemorating a historic but controversial anti-racism conference in 2001 by holding an anniversary meeting once moreover torn by divisions.
Looking back on the two decades since the Durban conference in South Africa, the assembly adopted a resolution that recognized some progress but lamented what it called an increase in discrimination, violence and intolerance in against people of African descent and many other groups – from Roma to refugees, young people to the elderly, people with disabilities to displaced people.
Wanting to “accelerate the momentum to make the fight against racism … a high priority for our countries”, the measure highlighted the effects of slavery, colonialism and genocide and called for ensuring that people of ancestry African people can seek “adequate reparation or satisfaction.” »Through national institutions. She also noted the evils caused by religious prejudices, including anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian prejudices.
But Israel, the United States and some other countries – at least 19 nations in all, according to Israel’s tally – boycotted the meeting due to lingering grievances over the Durban meeting 20 years ago, where the The United States and Israel withdrew because attendees drafted a conference statement. who denounced the treatment of Palestinians by Israel.
Political cartoons about world leaders
And Jamaica, while joining Wednesday’s meeting, complained that there weren’t enough calls for slavery reparations in a new political statement that was drafted but apparently stalled due to disagreements.
Yet the event – coinciding with the annual meeting of the assembly of world leaders – shed light on the cause of racial equality at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has underscored inequalities, and as murder of George Floyd by police in 2020 in the United States has re-energized racial justice movements around the world.
“As we strive to right the wrongs of the past, we must fight the racism, sexism and national chauvinism of the present,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told the rally via video.
“Just as we have united to fight the COVID 19 pandemic. Let us renew our commitment to implement” the promises made in Durban, he added. “Ending racism is a fight in which each of us has a stake.
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