2030 Development Agenda ‘Fails’ on Racial Equality and Non-Discrimination — Global Issues

“Despite the promising rhetoric of the 2030 Agenda, it largely fails to deliver on its ‘leave no one’ promise when it comes to the principles of racial equality and non-discrimination,” said E. Tendayi Achiume, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of racism. , racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Limiting progress

Presenting the conclusions of her report on the 2030 Agenda, SDGs and the fight against racial discrimination, Ms Achiume acknowledged that, while she opened the door for significant improvements on past development initiatives, More pledges are needed to fight racism effectively

“Racial justice commitments are largely absent from the operationalization of the SDGs, as evidenced by the lack of racial disaggregation in the SDG goals and indicators,” she said.

“The persistent lack of resources, failure to collect disaggregated data, and lack of political will power continues limit progress toward racial justice in virtually all national and international contexts

Deep Rooted Challenges

The Special Rapporteur attributed the deep-seated challenges of promoting racial equality and justice through development initiatives to the “racialized origins” of the current international development structure.

Citing the deep racial inequalities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, she explained how global economic and financial systems remain engines of racially discriminatory “underdevelopment”.

This serious flaw has made mainstream international development architecture incapable of challenging the status quo, she said.

Relentless Cycle of Inequality

A large number of available studies have shown that the international economic, development and financial order has perpetuated human rights problems and economic inequality.

As such, it has served to dismantle social safety nets in the global South and increase dependence on previously colonized peoples, she added.

Her report emphasized the urgent need to decolonize the global economic, legal and political systems.

To achieve this goal, international hierarchies must be disrupted and shifted beyond Eurocentric visions, models and means of economic development.

Changing the debate

During her presentation, the Special Rapporteur highlighted the racial justice uprisings in 2020 that mobilized the global community and significantly changed the conditions of discussion at the United Nations and elsewhere.

She noted that racially and ethnically marginalized workers in particular took up voluntary institutional anti-racism work, providing essential leadership without compensation.

Ms. Achiume expressed her unwavering support for those active against systemic racism within international institutions.

“For anti-racism initiatives to be successful, institutional leaders must deploy the necessary resources and political will for transformation,” emphasized the independent expert.

This can only be achieved by “making institutions more representative of the populations they serve, especially at decision-making levels,” she added.

Special Rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to investigate and report on a specific human rights issue or situation in a country. The positions are honorary and the experts are not paid for their work.

UN news

Tendayi Achiume, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism and Racial Discrimination.

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