International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

Racism has left a profound mark on humankind. It has tarnished communities, caused inoperable damage to nations and has created intolerable suffering to peoples. It is undeniable that humankind has endured many wrong-doings from its own kind. Nevertheless, as the great Nelson Mendela has spoken “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other - not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” 

The United Nations as a global community strives to create equality and protect the basic human rights of all individuals. My main goals as a President of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly and now as a candidate for the post of UN Secretary General was and still is to continue this mission of attaining equality, peace, and security for all.  

Let us be reminded that the UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 adopted in 1963, morally condemned and ostracized any doctrine of racial discrimination or superiority as unjust, false and unacceptable under no plausible circumstances. The elimination of Zionism, colonialism, apartheid, and any other form of racial segregation is a goal that we should strive to achieve. 

Engraved in the Preamble of the UN Charter is that WE the Peoples of the United Nations are determined and will strive “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women.”These values and principles are deeply imprinted in the foundation of the organization, they are the pillars that uphold and constitute the core of the United Nations. Similarly, alongside documents such as the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (adopted at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in South Africa), the United Nations still remains the most comprehensive framework and platform in eliminating all forms of racism and discrimination. 

It is necessary to discern that racism creates hatred. Hatred incites violence. And violence demolishes stability. We cannot achieve peace and security; we cannot fight terrorism and extremism if racial discrimination still persists.  

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” Indeed, I also refuse to accept that humanity is still bound by the chains of racial discrimination and instead would like to believe that our world today will be based on peace, love and mutual understanding regardless of race, color, gender or ethnicity. 

21 March 2016