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Declaration by High Representative Federica Mogherini on behalf of the European Union on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March 2016

Council of the EU
  • 18/03/2016
  • 18:25
  • Press release
  • 141/16
  • Foreign affairs & international relations
  • This document is available in non-EU languages: Arabic | Chinese
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Catherine Ray
Lead EEAS spokesperson
+32 22969921
+32 498969921

Maja Kocijančič
EEAS spokesperson
+32 22986570
+32 498984425

Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

While many positive steps have been made around the world in eliminating racial discrimination, we remain confronted by critical barriers and challenges.  

In September of last year, European and world leaders agreed on the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, pledging to leave no one behind in our common commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development across the globe. Conversely, we are also faced these days with increasing challenges connected to the global economic crisis, migration, terrorism, poverty and rising inequalities. 

These challenges affect in particular those who are already subject to discrimination on the grounds of their colour, race, descent, caste and ethnic or national origin. The European Union will continue to operate to eliminate all forms of discriminations, within its borders and in the world, so that all may enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms, without restrictions or exceptions. The EU also stands firm in addressing and combating hate speech. All human beings are equal in dignity and are entitled to enjoy their rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.   

On this day, the European Union once again calls on all states that have not yet done so to become parties to the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. Determined and effective measures at the national, regional, and international levels are essential if we are to prevent and put an end to racial discrimination.   

The European Union will continue to work closely with all our partner countries, regional and international organisations, as well as civil society for the elimination of racial discrimination across the world.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration. 

* - The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.