Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the Occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
21 March 2017
Racial discrimination is a poison that diminishes individuals and societies, perpetuates inequality and feeds anger, bitterness and violence. The fight against racism and all forms of discrimination is a mainstay of peace and social cohesion, especially in our increasingly diverse societies. On the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, UNESCO calls on all its Member States and partners to step up their efforts to build a more inclusive, more giving and fairer world.
One of the strongest bastions against racial discrimination is formed by education, awareness of the inanity of racial pseudo-theories, and knowledge of crimes committed in the name of such prejudices throughout history. In this spirit, UNESCO works with teachers, museums and publishers to try to combat stereotypes that stigmatize individuals and peoples because of the colour of their skin, their origin or their affiliation. For it is not enough to acknowledge the damaging effects of racism – we also need the tools and instincts to fight it and condemn it wherever it occurs, in whatever form, from petty, everyday humiliation to aggravated violence. This fight starts in the mind of each of us, and must be conveyed in every way possible. For instance, UNESCO and the Musée de l’Homme are organizing an exhibition to be held in Paris from March on the theme of “Us and Them – From Prejudice to Racism”. Together with the mayors and other urban stakeholders in the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities (ICCAR), UNESCO is committed to developing policies in favour of urban inclusion, non-discrimination and diversity. In partnership with the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation and the European Coalition of Cities against Racism, UNESCO has in particular launched the initiative “Welcoming cities for refugees” with a view to supporting local authorities in their reception policies. Sport is also a powerful lever for inclusion and that is why UNESCO is waging a campaign with Juventus FC, Radio PRISA and the Santillana Foundation to combat racism in football, through the campaigns “#what colour?” “Sin respeto no hay juego” and “#Together4InclusiveSport” with the Tolerance Center in Moscow.
抵御种族歧视最坚实的屏障之一是教育，是对披着理论外衣的种族主义不实言论的认识，是对历史上以这些偏见为名犯下的罪行的了解。秉承这样的精神，教科文组织与教师、博物馆和出版社共同努力，消除因肤色、出身和族群归属而诬蔑个人和群体的成见。因为仅仅了解种族主义的危害是不够的，还需要有力的工具和思想，在种族主义出现时进行揭露和打击，无论它以何种形式出现，是日常的辱骂还是严重的暴力。这场斗争始于每个人的心灵，并应当 通过各种媒介广为传播。教科文组织与人类博物馆将于三月共同举办名为“我们与他人——从偏见到种族主义”的展览。教科文组织还与国际包容性和可持续城市联盟的市长和其他参与者一道，制定促进城市包容性和多样性、反对歧视的政策。教科文组织与 Marianna V. Vardinoyannis基金会和欧洲反对种族主义城市联盟共同发起了“欢迎难民城市倡议”，为地方政府制定接待政策提供支持。体育运动也是促进包容性的有力杠杆，因此教科文组织与尤文图斯足球俱乐部、PRISA电台和 Santillana 基金会共同开展在足球运动中打击种族主义的宣传活动，主题包括“哪种肤色？”和“没有尊重就没有比赛”，另外还与总部在莫斯科的宽容中心联合举办了题为“共同促进包容性体育”的宣传活动。
At a time of economic crisis and social uncertainty, “the other” is always a convenient scapegoat, and racial discrimination a dangerous temptation that manufacturers of hatred know all too well how to exploit. Faced with the increase in acts and the growing acceptance of statements that encourage racism and hatred of others, UNESCO calls for citizens to react, to pass on the values of solidarity, empathy and altruism. In a world of diversity, understanding and respect of others constitute the only possible path. Building walls to keep other people out often means keeping ourselves shut in. Our diversity is a strength: let us learn how to draw on it for the resources of inventiveness, creativity and peace. The more we respect others, the more we respect ourselves.