UN warns about link between racism and conflict on International Day

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Racial or ethnic discrimination has been used to instill fear or hatred of others, often leading to conflict and war, as in the case of the Rwanda genocide in 1994

Top UN officials are warning about the interconnected dangers of racism and conflict on this, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The UN Secretary-General says racism has been used by ruthless leaders as a weapon to instill fear, hatred and in extreme cases incite genocide.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay cited a survey which stated that 55 per cent of violent conflicts between 2007 and 2009 had violations of minority rights or ethnic tensions at their core.

"Racism is still with us and continues to raise its ugly head with daily resonance in several societies. The promise of the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has not been realized."

On the 21st of March each year, the UN marks the day in 1960 when dozens of peaceful protesters were gunned down by police in the South African township of Sharpeville as they demonstrated against apartheid.

Duration: 17″

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