The United Nations(UN)’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is annually observed across the globe on 21st March to address the issues of racial discrimination and to create awareness about the need for the elimination of racial discrimination.
The observance remembers the victims of the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa,
The theme of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2022 is “Voices for Action against Racism”.
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution 2142(XXI) on 26th October 1966 and proclaimed the 21st March of every year as International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
ii.The first International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was observed on 21st November 1967.
Why March 21?
On 21st March 1960, the police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”.
Efforts of UN:
i.In 1965, the international community adopted a convention by which they committed to eliminating all forms of racial discrimination.
ii.In 2001, the World Conference against Racism produced the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), the most authoritative and comprehensive programme for combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
iii.In the recent resolutions, UNGA highlights that any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races.
iv.In 2009, the UNGA adopted a resolution A/RES/64/169 and proclaimed 2011 as International Year for People of African Descent.
v.In 2013, the UNGA proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent 215 to 2024, with the theme “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.”