HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 31st SESSION ITEM 9 STATEMENT BY TURKEY

Müge ANT 21.03.2016

Mr. President,

Racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia continue to challenge our efforts to ensure universal enjoyment of fundamental human rights and freedoms. Together with the alarming rising trends of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, they constitute serious threats towards global peace and social harmony.

They remain among the major and urgent concerns that need to be effectively addressed by the international community as a whole.

Racist discourse and hate speech target in particular the vulnerable groups. The tendency to stigmatize migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers and foreigners as scapegoats for the ills of the society is a dangerous phenomenon in our societies today.

It is all the more important and relevant to prevent further initiatives aiming at dividing our societies on the lines of race, ethnicity and belief.

It should be borne in mind that discrimination does not go away by itself. It must be challenged. The international community has a moral and legal obligation to protect the dignity of individuals and their right to be free from discrimination.

Mr. President,

In the context of combating intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, the Council resolution 16/18 adopted in 2011 and its follow-up resolutions serve as tools and include guiding principles for effective implementation.

Turkey is proud to have taken a leading part in this endeavour which resulted in the elaboration of a practical plan of action.

It is our sincere belief that with strengthened international efforts it will be possible to develop a common understanding and foster a global dialogue for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and all kinds of diversity.

Thank you.

Atatürk

Sadık Arslan Ambassador

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