Friday, March 21, 2014
Today, March 21, is not only the first full day of spring here in the United States, but is also the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This year's theme is "The Role of Leaders in Combatting Racial Discrimination," a message that was highlighted in the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, adopted at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in 2001. That document underlines the key role that political leaders and political parties can and ought to play in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Government institutions, political leaders, non-governmental organizations and individual citizen leaders all share responsibility for teaching and modelling tolerance.
At UN Headquarters in New York, the General Assembly will hold a Special Meeting today in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, as mandated by GA Resolution 68/151 on the Total Elimination of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance.
One step that citizens can take is to encourage the remaining States of the world to join the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Currently, there are 176 States parties, meaning there are at least 15 States that do not belong. Universal ratification of CERD would demonstrate a world wide commitment to the elimination of racial discrimination.
For more information on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, visit the United Nations web page.