"I call on all people, especially political, civic and religious leaders, to strongly condemn messages and ideas based on racism, racial superiority or hatred as well as those that incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Nelson Mandela addresses the General Assembly in 1994 as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. UN Photo/Evan Schneider
2014 Theme: "The Role of Leaders in Combatting Racism and Racial Discrimination"
The Durban Declaration and Programme of
Action adopted at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance on 8 September 2001, underlines the key role that political leaders and political parties can and ought to play in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
At the World Conference and subsequent Review Conference, States also recognized that promoting greater respect and trust among different groups within society must be a shared but differentiated responsibility of government institutions, political leaders, grassroots organizations and citizens.
This year's theme was chosen by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to highlight key role that leaders play in mobilising political will to combat racism and racial discrimination.
A panel discussion on the topic will be held at the UN in Geneva on Friday, 21 March 2014, at 13:15. To register please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At UN Headquarters in New York, the General Assembly will hold a Special Meeting in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, on Friday, 21 March 2014, as mandated by GA resolution 68/151.