UN / DURBAN + 20

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22-Sep-2021 00:06:03
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action “offers an important opportunity to reflect on where we stand and where we need to go,” adding that “structural racism and systematic injustice still deny people their fundamental human rights.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / DURBAN + 20
TRT: 6:03
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 22 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

21 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, flags outside UN headquarters

22 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall
3. Wide shot, Secretary-General and President of the General Assembly at dais
4. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action offers an important opportunity to reflect on where we stand and where we need to go. Racism and racial discrimination still permeate institutions, social structures, and everyday life in every society. Structural racism and systematic injustice still deny people their fundamental human rights.”
5. Med shot, delegates
6. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Xenophobia, misogyny, hateful conspiracies, white supremacy and Neo-Nazi ideologies are spreading – amplified in echo chambers of hate. From glaring infringements to creeping transgressions, human rights are under assault. Racism is often the cruel catalyst.”
7. Wide shot, Guterres at podium
8. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Let me be clear: Whoever uses this process — or any other platform — for anti-Semitic diatribes, anti-Muslim discourse, hateful speech, and baseless assertions, only denigrates our essential fight against racism.”
9. Wide shot, delegates
10. SOUNDBITE (French) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Scanning the global landscape today, something more hopeful has come into view. A movement for racial justice and equality has emerged with unprecedented force, reach and impact. This new awakening — often led by women and young people — has created momentum we must seize upon.”
11. Wide shot, delegates
12. SOUNDBITE (French) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Together, we must work to recognize the contemporary resonance of past crimes that continue to haunt our present: the lingering traumas; the transgenerational suffering; the structural inequalities so deeply rooted in centuries of enslavement and colonial exploitation. And we must reverse the consequences of generations of exclusion and discrimination – including their obvious social and economic dimensions through reparatory justice frameworks.”
13. Wide shot, Guterres at podium
14. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“We can overcome these harmful afflictions and heal. If we recognize diversity as richness; if we understand – as Durban did – that the fight against racism is both a global, universal effort, and a concrete struggle in every society. No country can claim to be free from it.”
15. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th Session of the General Assembly, United Nations:
“Like so much else, the global pandemic has exacerbated underlying conditions and exposed fault lines. The same holds true for racism. We saw, and still see, the marginalized and the vulnerable fall further behind. Many have been denied equal access to health, education, and security. These pre-existing structural weaknesses were a recipe for disaster long before COVID19, the pandemic has only made the divide and injustice starker.”
17. Wide shot, delegates
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“Reparations should be broad-based, and need to include measures aimed at restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition. These may include formal acknowledgment and apologies, memorialization and institutional and educational reforms. For reparations to be effective, all these elements are needed. We should be clear though that these efforts must go beyond symbolism, and that they do require political, human and financial capital.”
19. Wide shot, delegates
20. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“To recognize the past and truly leave no one behind in future, it is essential to promote equality not only within, but also among countries – transforming our world towards social, economic and environmental sustainability, and I would encourage greater international engagement on these issues of reparatory justice.”
21. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall
22. SOUNDBITE (English) Cyril Ramaphosa, President, South Africa:
“Slavery was one of the darkest periods in the history of humankind and a crime of unparalleled barbarity. Its legacy persists in the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and in Africa itself.”
23. Wide shot, delegates
24. SOUNDBITE (English) Cyril Ramaphosa, President, South Africa:
“As we strive to correct the wrongs of the past, we must combat the racism, sexism and national chauvinism of the present. Racism directed at ethnic minorities, migrants, refugees, the LGBTQI+ community and other marginalised groups has led to the denial of opportunity, to institutionalised discrimination, and to violence.”
25. Wide shot, delegates
26. SOUNDBITE (English) Cyril Ramaphosa, President, South Africa:
“We are called upon by history to redouble our efforts to build a world free of racism, to right the wrongs of the past and to restore the human dignity of all.”
27. Wide shot, delegates applauding

STORYLINE:

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action “offers an important opportunity to reflect on where we stand and where we need to go,” adding that “structural racism and systematic injustice still deny people their fundamental human rights.”

At an event marking the anniversary today (22 Sep), Guterres said, “Xenophobia, misogyny, hateful conspiracies, white supremacy and Neo-Nazi ideologies are spreading – amplified in echo chambers of hate. From glaring infringements to creeping transgressions, human rights are under assault. Racism is often the cruel catalyst.”

The Secretary-General said the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakable. He also noted that anti-Semitism was on the rise and called for the condemnation of anti-Muslim bigotry, the mistreatment of minority Christians, and other forms of intolerance around the world.

He said, “Let me be clear: Whoever uses this process — or any other platform — for anti-Semitic diatribes, anti-Muslim discourse, hateful speech, and baseless assertions, only denigrates our essential fight against racism.”

However, UN chief said there were more hopeful signs around the world. He said a “movement for racial justice and equality has emerged with unprecedented force, reach and impact. This new awakening — often led by women and young people — has created momentum we must seize upon.”

Guterres called on everyone country to take concrete actions – including through policy measures, legislation and more granular data collection – in support of national and global efforts to combat racism. He said, “Together, we must work to recognize the contemporary resonance of past crimes that continue to haunt our present: the lingering traumas; the transgenerational suffering; the structural inequalities so deeply rooted in centuries of enslavement and colonial exploitation. And we must reverse the consequences of generations of exclusion and discrimination – including their obvious social and economic dimensions through reparatory justice frameworks.”

The Secretary-General stressed that the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action was meant to break the vicious cycle, in which discrimination leads to deprivation, and poverty deepens discrimination. He added, “We can overcome these harmful afflictions and heal. If we recognize diversity as richness; If we understand – as Durban did – that the fight against racism is both a global, universal effort, and a concrete struggle in every society. No country can claim to be free from it.”

Guterres called on people to unite around their common humanity at a time when they feel more divided than ever.

Abdulla Shahid, President of the General Assembly, said when the Durban Declaration and Program of Action was adopted in 2001, it was done with emphasis to tackle racial discrimination and intolerance, but, sadly, two decades later, the doctrine is still being pursued.

He said, “Like so much else, the global pandemic has exacerbated underlying conditions and exposed fault lines. The same holds true for racism. We saw, and still see, the marginalized and the vulnerable fall further behind. Many have been denied equal access to health, education, and security. These pre-existing structural weaknesses were a recipe for disaster long before COVID19, the pandemic has only made the divide and injustice starker.”

Shahid said there are many lessons to take from the pandemic, from who has been affected and how. He called on leaders to recognize these failings and to seek racial equality, to close that divide and build the resilience of those who have been left behind.

The President of the General Assembly reiterated the importance of acknowledging the past and stressed that one could not move past what is not addressed. He encouraged the international community, individuals, leaders, and stakeholders, to engage in deeper and honest dialogue to address this global issue.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said it is vital to rise above past controversies and come together to combat racism and related discrimination in the world today. She said steps have been taken which have laid a strong foundation for real change, but millions of people continue to bear the burden of past and contemporary forms of racism and exclusion, including historical denial of their humanity; the legacy of colonial exploitation; and the inhuman and criminal enslavement of generations of women, men and children of African descent.

Bachelet stressed the need to address these lasting consequences, including through appropriate forms of reparations. She said, “Reparations should be broad-based, and need to include measures aimed at restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition. These may include formal acknowledgment and apologies, memorialization and institutional and educational reforms. For reparations to be effective, all these elements are needed. We should be clear though that these efforts must go beyond symbolism, and that they do require political, human and financial capital.”

The High Commissioner underscored the need to strengthen and enhance international cooperation to increase equality of opportunities for trade, economic growth and sustainable development. She said, “To recognize the past and truly leave no one behind in future, it is essential to promote equality not only within, but also among countries – transforming our world towards social, economic and environmental sustainability, and I would encourage greater international engagement on these issues of reparatory justice.”

Bachelet said tackling racial discrimination and the inequality experienced by people of African descent requires a comprehensive approach with concrete strategies and actionable, time-bound targets. She added that her Office would continue to support domestic action and international cooperation to eliminate racial discrimination and achieve racial justice, including in coordinating the International Decade for people of African Descent.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said slavery was one of the “darkest periods in the history of humankind and a crime of unparalleled barbarity,” adding that its legacy “persists in the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and in Africa itself.”

He said as the world strives to correct the wrongs of the past, “we must combat the racism, sexism and national chauvinism of the present. Racism directed at ethnic minorities, migrants, refugees, the LGBTQI+ community and other marginalised groups has led to the denial of opportunity, to institutionalised discrimination, and to violence.”

Ramaphosa called on the international community to recommit itself to implementing the Durban Declaration and Platform for Action just as it stood united to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. He added, “We are called upon by history to redouble our efforts to build a world free of racism, to right the wrongs of the past and to restore the human dignity of all.”
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