21 March – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Martin Kobler, Chief of MONUSCO and José Maria Aranaz, Director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office appeal on “each and every one to commit themselves to eliminate racial discrimination”
Kinshasa, 21 March 2015 – “We must work together to combat all forms of discrimination. Let us commit ourselves to eliminate any practice that divides us along the lines of ethnicity, sex, religion, social background and identity. Rights to equality and dignity are essential for building a lasting peace based on solid foundations,” said Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC.
By proclaiming the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly engaged the International Community to redouble efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. In the DRC, MONUSCO is working jointly with the Government to combat all forms of violation of human dignity.
“This Day reminds us that we have to work every day to fight racial and ethnic-based discrimination. The fight to eliminate racial discrimination has been the focus of the work of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations system”, stressed José Maria Aranaz, Director of the UNJHRO.
Note to readers
- The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, proclaimed by the UN in 1966, recalls the March 1960 event that took place in Sharpeville, Republic of South Africa, when the police opened fire on 69 persons during a peaceful demonstration against Apartheid.
- The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed every year on 21 March.
- For years now, UNESCO has been working hard to disseminate the history of slavery and slave trade which was officially recognized in 2001 as a crime against humanity.
- This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, which came into force on 4 January 1969.