50th session of the Human Rights Council
Item 9: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
Tuesday 5 July 2022
Thank you, President.
Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative.
We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s report on the SDGs and her analysis on the current economic structures that privilege the so-called ‘developed’ nations being fundamentally incompatible with racial justice.
From this Council to the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, multilateralism and the UN system continue to perpetuate and reproduce racism and colonial denial, impunity and injustice.
The same States that built their wealth exploiting the Global South obstruct HRC negotiations on access to medicines and vaccines and collude with big pharma to block any attempt at a real TRIPS waiver1, despite countless calls by civil society and human rights bodies, further entrenching a deeply racist status quo and intellectual property regime. In this regard we highlight and reiterate the Special Rapporteur’s open letter to the WTO calling for a TRIPS waiver2 and share her outrage at the marginalization of the fight for racial justice in the UN system and Agenda 2030.
We urge States and UN agencies to heed the Special Rapporteur’s call for radical transformation and decolonization of the global economic and political order. Unless we rethink and transform the economic systems that continue to entrench racial discriminations, every action is at best woefully inadequate and at worst deeply discriminatory.
Finally, we urge Global North States to implement the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations to provide full reparations for racial discrimination, slavery and colonialism. Anything less is just more of the same virtue signaling and empty words.
1 See for instance Médecins Sans Frontières: “Inability to agree a real pandemic intellectual property Waiver at WTO is a devastating global failure for people the world over,” 17 June 2022. https://msfaccess.org/inability-agree-real-pandemic-intellectual-property-waiver-wto-devastating-global-failure-people
2 Open Letter from the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to the World Trade Organization’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference, 13 June 2022: https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/2022-06/2022-06-13-WTO-Open-Letter.pdf