The Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO Message on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Today, 21st March, the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO joins the international community in celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a phenomenon that is present in all countries and societies.
Racial Discrimination demeans the human person, denies their god-given human rights and oppressively denies them equal treatment. Discrimination on any grounds is unacceptable; but discrimination based on race or ethnicity is abominable and has no place whatsoever, in a vibrant, progressive society such as ours, whose diversity lies at the very core of our national character and national identity.

This year’s theme “Youth standing up against racism” is a call to the world’s youth as global citizens to raise their voices as national and global advocates for the elimination of racial discrimination. Through the #FightRacism project, the aim is to foster a global culture of tolerance, equality and anti –discrimination and enjoins every citizen to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes.

It is a matter of continuing concern and disappointment to the National Commission that there persists in social media and elsewhere evidence that racial hatred and intolerance remain very real threats in our society. These beliefs are destructive and harmful to us all as individuals and to the society as a whole and so, they must be rejected in favour of national dialogue, building mutual respect and understanding, less they manifest in unthinkable all out societal conflict; recent evidence of which has been observed in a leading democracy.

The National Commission therefore calls upon all inhabitants of our beloved Republic, individual and organizational, to make a solemn commitment to reject racism, intolerance and unequal treatment in every sphere and to promote and pursue instead, equality, justice, fairness and respect for all our people, who together comprise and enrich the multicultural mosaic that is our homeland, Trinidad and Tobago.

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