Statement on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council

Vienna, March 20, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States notes that tomorrow, March 21, is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This morning ODIHR hosted an event to recognize a tolerance and non-discrimination XB project involving people of African descent, and to provide a showcase for the good work civil society groups are doing under that project. Unfortunately, although perhaps unsurprisingly given the press of urgent business, attendance at this morning’s event was very low. In order to help spread the word about racism, hate crimes, and other racially motivated discrimination in the OSCE space, and what ODIHR in collaboration with civil society is doing about it, I intend to host a Google Hangout in coming weeks. Civil society actors who are part of this project will participate, to share their stories and the work they are doing to improve their societies. I will invite all delegations to participate in this Google Hangout and the exact time will be announced soon.

We must all protect the human rights of persons belonging to racial minorities and other marginalized and vulnerable populations. As we reflect on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, all participating States should aim to fully implement their existing OSCE commitments, seek to end all forms of discrimination, and continue to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.