Remarks at a Third Committee General Discussion on Racism

Dylan Lang
U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
October 30, 2023

AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Chair.

The United States is committed to combating systemic racism, discrimination, and xenophobia globally, because we recognize that these are global scourges that require coordinated and sustained global solutions. The United States approaches this work with great humility, as we still have work to do to fully address the realities of systemic racism at home.

Systematic exclusion of members of marginalized racial, ethnic, and Indigenous communities, including people of African descent, prevents them from full participation in economic, social, and civic life and continues to impede equity globally. Systemic racism is compounded by intersectional discrimination, including based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, migration status, disability, religion, socioeconomic and other statuses.

These communities are also disproportionately impacted by the effects of epidemics, climate change, environmental injustice, access to clean water, food insecurity, inadequate healthcare, hate-based violence, and economic inequality. Additionally, they are often excluded from decisions about the very issues that affect them the most and deprived of the support they need to shoulder the impact.

We applaud the human rights defenders working to break down these barriers, who refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice, fight to promote the rights and dignity of members of their communities when they are undermined, and give these communities voice and hope.

In that spirit, the United States created the Secretary of State’s Global Anti-Racism Champions Award to acknowledge, honor, and support the tireless advocates who fight against the structural racism, pervasive discrimination, and rampant xenophobia that impedes members of their communities from enjoying their human rights.

This year’s awardees include an Afro-Peruvian social activist from Peru; an Indigenous leader and lawyer from Brazil; a Roma human rights activist from Moldova; a Black anti-discrimination activist from Tunisia; a Dalit social activist from Nepal; and an Indigenous activist and tribal

leader from Bangladesh. Their full biographies can be found on the Department of State website.

This award is just one of our many efforts to advance racial equity and to support underserved communities in the United States and around the world. Last month, we announced the inaugural members of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States, aimed at enhancing dialogue between United States federal officials and the African Diaspora. These recent actions, alongside the first U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism and a prior Executive Order Advancing Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders, are the latest tools we bring to our fight against all forms of hatred.

Despite this progress, we recognize that there is great deal more to be done. No nation, including my own, is above scrutiny. But we believe that transparency, openness, and a willingness to examine and admit one’s own shortcomings will lead to improvement and, as our Constitution says, “a more perfect union.”

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we reaffirm that every human being is born free and equal in dignity and in rights, and no one should be prevented from living up to their fullest potential because of their race or ethnicity.

I thank you.

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