HRC 46 – Debate on the midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent

12 March 2021


Madam President,

Portugal aligns with the EU statement.

We welcome the convening of this panel and thank the speakers for their presentations.

Racism, discrimination and xenophobia are affronts to human dignity and to the right to equality and non-discrimination. They perpetuate power relations that lead to exclusion, poverty, abuses and violations of human rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed children and young persons of African descent to this multidimensional and complex phenomenon. We must ensure that every child and young person is offered the conditions to fulfil their potential. To ensure that fear and hate will not grow in our societies and that each person feels valued, safe and respected.

If we want to “build back better”, human dignity and human rights must remain at the centre of our actions. And for this eliminating racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia must be part of our recovery plan.

Madam President,

In the framework of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, we have defined the fight against discrimination as a priority. In this regard, on April 20, we will organise a high-level conference on improving protection from racial discrimination and related intolerance. It will focus on countering hate speech, online and offline; the role of human rights education; history teaching and the media; and on policies and good practices on protection from discrimination.

Madam President,

Participation in decision-making, including by children and young persons of African descent, is key to establishing just and equal societies. How can we ensure that their voices are heard and that they can also have an active role in the implementation and monitoring phases of the decade? What is the experience of the members of the panel in this regard?

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