UN chief calls white supremacy an ‘international threat’

GENEVA – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Monday that white supremacy and neo-Nazi movements were becoming an “international threat” and exploited the coronovirus epidemic to bolster its support.

Addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council, Guterres said that the threat of hate groups is increasing daily.

“White supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are more than domestic terrorist threats. They are becoming an international threat, ”he told the Geneva Forum. Without naming states, Guterres said: “Today, these extremist movements represent a threat to internal security in many countries.”

In the United States, racial tensions boiled over during Donald Trump’s turbulent four-year presidency. His successor Joe Biden has said that 6 of the US Capitol by Trump supporters. The siege was carried out by “thugs, rebels, political extremists and white supremacists”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gives a speech on December 18, 2020, in the Lower House of Parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gives a speech on December 18, 2020, in the Lower House of Parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany.
REUTERS / Hannibal Hanchke

“Very often, these hate groups are appointed to positions of responsibility by people who were considered long ago,” Guterres said. “We need global coordinated action to this grave and growing threat.”

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michel Bachelet is to report to the Council on Systemic Racism against people of African descent on 18 March. A global investigation was launched after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May last month when a white police officer stabbed his neck for about nine minutes.

Guterres accused officials using the COVID-19 epidemic in some countries of deploying “heavy security responses and emergency measures to quell dissent”.

“Many times the access to life-saving COVID-19 has been concealed – while deadly misinformation has been added to the power -” he said.

Guterres warned about the power of digital platforms and the use and misuse of data.

“I urge all Member States to place human rights at the center of the regulatory framework and legislation on the development and use of digital technology,” he said. “We need a secure, equitable and open digital future that does not violate privacy or dignity.”

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