China and over 50 countries expresses grave concerns over discrimination against African and Asians

On behalf of more than 50 countries, China expressed grave concerns over the systemic racism, racial discrimination and hate crimes against minorities, particularly Africans and people of African descent, Asians and people of Asian descent, at the 47th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday.

“I have the honor to speak on behalf of a group of countries. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, yet the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance remains a long and arduous task,” said Ambassador Chen Xu, permanent representative of China to the United Nations office in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland.

Chen noted that China and these countries support multilateral human rights bodies to root out the causes of systemic racism and structural racial discrimination, eliminate legacies of slavery, transatlantic slave trade, colonialism and labor trafficking, and welcome the High Commissioner’s report to the Human Rights Council.

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that “the murder of George Floyd was a tipping point, which shifted the world’s attention to the human rights violation routinely endured by Africans and people of African descent.

“In some States, people of African descent are more likely to live in poverty, earn lower wages, occupy less-skilled positions, and face unequal access to adequate housing and quality health-care. In the area of law enforcement, the report focuses on lethal incidents where there has been a strikingly consistent failure to see justice done,” said Bachelet.

Bachelet also noted there were 190 deaths of Africans and people of African descent at the hands of law enforcement officials, 98% of which took place in Europe, Latin America and North America.

“In light of these profound and wide-ranging injustices, there is an urgent need to confront the legacies of enslavement, the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism and successive racially discriminatory policies and systems, and to seek reparatory justice. Despite some initiatives towards truth-seeking, and limited forms of reparations -including memorialization, acknowledgements, apologies and litigation – our research could not find a single example of a State that has comprehensively reckoned with the past or accounted for its impacts on the lives of people of African descent today,” said Bachelet.

Chen Xu, the Chinese ambassador, called for greater efforts to combat racial discrimination and hate crime against Asians and people of Asian descent. He urged political and public figures to stop racist remarks, and to fully guarantee the rights of Asians and people of Asian descent.

“We also call on multilateral human rights mechanisms to pay close attention to the above-mentioned issues and consider proper actions,” he said.

Moreover, Chinese representative also pointed out in another speech that politicians and media in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and EU countries should also be blamed for their inflammatory remarks in adding oil to hate crimes and race discrimination against Asians and people of Asian descent.

Many countries and organizations, including African countries, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Arabic countries also criticized systemic race discriminations and urged related countries to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, eliminate the influence of enslavement, the transatlantic slave trade and colonialism, end police violence, stop spreading inflammatory remarks on discrimination, and take measures to protect the human rights of Africans and people of African descent and Asians and people of Asian descent.

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