U.N. chief Antonio Guterres: ‘Rot’ of White supremacy, racism eat away at everyday life

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Feb. 22 (UPI) — United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday told the Human Rights Council it’s critically important to be vigilant in opposing the rise of white supremacy and other motivators for ethnic-driven terrorism.

Guterres made the remarks during a virtual session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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In his speech, Guterres commended the council for its work but warned that efforts must be expanded to counter what he called a “transnational threat” like the Islamic State and al Qaida.

“We must also step up the fight against resurgent neo-Nazism, white supremacy and racially and ethnically motivated terrorism,” he said. “The danger of these hate-driven movements is growing by the day.

“Let us call them what they are: White supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are more than domestic terror threats. They are becoming a transnational threat.”

Guterres emphasized that there should be a special focus on safeguarding the rights of communities of color, as many of them are under various threats around the world.

“The rot of racism eats away at institutions, social structures and everyday life — sometimes invisibly and insidiously,” he said.

“Today, these extremist movements represent the number one internal security threat in several countries.”

He said minority communities are part of the “richness of our cultural and social fabric,” and that their protection is fundamental to humanity.

“Yet we see not only forms of discrimination but also policies of assimilation that seek to wipe out the cultural and religious identity of minority communities,” the secretary-general said.

“When a minority community’s culture, language or faith are under attack, all of us are diminished. When authorities cast suspicion on entire groups under the guise of security, all of us are threatened.”

Guterres added that some countries have used the coronavirus pandemic to punish segments of their communities and that a global vaccine push is needed. He also called for a fairer distribution so that poorer nations don’t become unnecessarily vulnerable.

“We need global coordinated action to defeat this grave and growing danger.”

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