This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). The Convention has proven to be an effective tool, by holding Governments accountable to their citizens and on the international stage. Based on the Convention, many countries have enacted national laws and policies for the prevention and eradication of racial discrimination.
Yet, despite progress, too many people are victims of racial harassment and hate speech, because of the colour of their skin, their ethnic origins or religion. This is still true in many places around the world, including in our European Union.
The recently adopted new EU Human Rights Guidelines on Non-discrimination in External Action confirm that affording this matter is a priority for the EU and that we are determined to play a leading role regarding non-discrimination through our policies internally and externally. It is a political duty for all the institutions, but it is most of all a cultural challenge that we can win only together.