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Durban Declaration and Programme of Action 20th Anniversary (HRC45, 2020, OS)

Date : 2020.10.01

IMADR delivered the oral statement on “Durban Declaration and Programme of Action 20th Anniversary” at the 45th session of the Human Rights Council. Whole text can be read below or download here.  .


Oral Statement: 45th session of the Human Rights Council

Item 9: General Debate

1 October 2020

Madam President,

We thank the High Commissioner for her oral update. We are alarmed by the scale of discriminatory law enforcement against Africans and people of African descent around the world including in the United States.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it undisputable that racial discrimination is not an issue of the past, but it is an ongoing human rights challenge in every country. Across regions, people of African-descent, minorities, people discriminated on the basis of caste or descent, indigenous peoples, stateless persons, migrants including refugees and asylum-seekers are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Yet, States’ responses to the novel coronavirus such as healthcare and social protection measures have often overlooked these vulnerable populations and failed to address the long-standing structural racial discrimination in their countries.

It is therefore timely and appropriate that at this session the Human Rights Council will consider a resolution on the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA). The next year’s anniversary should be an opportunity for States to reflect on progresses in implementing the DDPA and remaining challenges including those emerged from the pandemic.

As actions speak louder than words, we call on Member States to use the 20th anniversary as an opportunity to introduce legislative reforms and policy measures to prohibit racial discrimination in line with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), deliver justice to victims, and uplift the lives of racialised communities.

Thank you.

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