United Nation’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Monday, during the opening of the 40th Session of UN Human Right Council, that hate speech is a threat to the ‘pillars of humanity’ and launched a global campaign to combat the problem which he said ‘poisoned’ the dialogue on crucial global challenges.
The global initiative will be lead by his special adviser on genocide prevention Adama Dieng, a Senegalese lawyer and veteran UN diplomat, at the UNHRC. He said that Dieng would ‘define a system-wide strategy and present a global plan of action’ to combat the rise of hate speech across the world.
The Secretary-General said that ‘hate is moving mainstream’ and it can be seen in ‘liberal democracies and authoritarian systems alike.”
“Some major political parties and leaders are cutting and pasting ideas from the fringes into their propaganda and electoral campaigns,” he added.
Guterres’ move to launch a global campaign against hate speech is said to be powered and mobilized by the UN Global Compact on Migration, a non-binding text managing the refugee situation and flow of migration around the world.
He said that the discussion on migration was ‘poisoned with false narratives linking refugees and migrants to terrorism and violence’ and he called governments out for making them the ‘scapegoats’ of national problems.
He condemned “an insidious campaign sought to drown the Global Compact on Migration in a flood of lies about the nature and scope of the agreement.”
In December, 17 countries have abstained or voted against the Global Compact on Migration during the general assembly.
He said during his opening statement at the UNHRC session that ‘the human rights agenda is losing ground’ and it has ‘negative consequences in social justice.’
The issue of hate speech has stirred many countries, especially in Europe as they have seen a rise in Anti-Semitic activities.
The United States pulled out of the council last year calling it a politically-biased body and protectors of human rights abusers. /apr