Pakistan wishes to reiterate its concerns on the upsurge of new and contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances.
In the contemporary world, xenophobia, racism and anti-migrants policies pursued on the plank of populist platforms by mainstream political parties are on the rise. This new xenophobic political discourse and ideologically motivated hate speech is being practiced in the garb of patriotism which incites religious and racial hatred. The ideologies of hatred, anti-Islam, anti-Semitism and discrimination are deeply worrying. These rising trends of the “state egotism and nationalism” in Europe are eroding the very foundations of the concept of global peaceful society. This must be stopped.
Whilst not institutionalized today, there is an ugly history of discrimination against indigenous populations in some developed countries. Their situation based on prejudice and lingering social practices is also abysmal. Despite commitment to democracy and human rights, historical wrongs have not been righted. In some cases an entire society has been built of the graves of the disappeared. According to the BBC, for example in Australia, indigenous people make up about 30% of the Northern Territory’s residents but more than 80% of its prison population. The incidents of arrest of young indigenous people for minor offences are 26 times higher than non-indigenous youths. In Western Australia, that rate is 52 times higher for them.
There is an urgent need to strengthen the legal and policy framework for addressing discrimination, hate speech and xenophobia that underwrites chauvinistic nationalism. Campaigns to ridicule religions, religious personalities and religious symbols incite hatred and violence. It must be stopped.
Pakistan has been at the forefront of global efforts in combating colonialism and racial discrimination. Pakistan actively participated in elaboration of ICERD and the DDPA Process and fully supports Resolution 16/18 on combating intolerance and xenophobia. In the elections held in July 2018, the indigenous Kalash people and a tiny community of African descent got their representatives elected to the Parliament. Mainstreaming of these vital segments of our society in the Parliament reflects our strides towards the promotion of human rights in an inclusive pluralistic society.
We must address the underlying causes of the problems witnessed today which are rooted in marginalization, inequalities, discrimination and hatred. We should come out in support of the collective values of peace, human dignity and welfare of humankind to ensure a future of peaceful co-existence and intercultural harmony.
I thank you.