UN Human Rights Council 43: Item 9 General Debate

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Madam President,

The tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, and others before him, has forced us to confront an uncomfortable truth. No country is immune from racism. The protests we have witnessed around the world have prompted a long-overdue reflection on the fact that we need to work harder to eliminate racism.

It is right that we allow citizens to express their strong and legitimate feelings on this issue. As a democratic society, the UK is committed to listening and engaging in conversations about racism and equality.

The UK has undoubtedly made progress in creating a more equal society. But the work is far from over. As our Prime Minister recently acknowledged, we know that black and minority ethnic groups still face discrimination when it comes to education, employment, healthcare and criminal justice. This has to change.

Today, we reaffirm the UK’s unwavering commitment to stamping out racism – at home and abroad. And we will continue to be one of the strongest advocates for the work done by the United Nations and those mechanisms helping to combat racism across the world.

Now is the time for governments to reflect on progress but also to strive to do better.

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