The event to take place today, is at the request of Burkina Faso on behalf of the 54 African countries.
The United Nations Human Rights Council has announced the holding of an “urgent” debate on systemic racism and police brutality on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. According to information made public on Monday June 15, 2020, the debate among the U.N.’s top human rights body is the result of a request from Burkina Faso, on behalf of the 54 African countries who are members of the international institution. The U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva said, it will examine the “current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protests” this Wednesday. The Council’s President, Elisabeth TichyFisslberger, said the issue doesn’t just pertain to the United States, after holding a meeting for the first time since the coronavirus struck in March.
“As you have seen with demonstrations all over the world, including here in Geneva, so this is a topic that is not about just one country, it goes well beyond that,” she said. “When I said it’s not against the United States, I mean there are complaints about a lot of racism in many countries in the world, of course in Europe, and eve- rywhere you find it all over the world.” In a letter to Tichy-Fisslberger obtained by CBS News, Burkina Faso’s representative to the U.N. Dieudonné W. Désiré Sougouri called for the debate Friday in the wake of the protests that have spread throughout the world since the death of George Floyd. “The tragic events of 25 May in Minneapolis in the U.S. which led to the death of George Floyd led to protests throughout the world against injustice and police brutality that persons of African descent face on a daily basis in many regions of the world,” Sougouri said. “The death of George Floyd is unfortunately not an isolated incident.” Several high profile U.N. officials, including Secretary General António Guterres, have denounced racism, while more than 20 senior U.N. officials who are African or of African descent also published a statement titled, “On the Black Lives Matter Protests and other Mass Demonstrations against Systemic Racism and Police Brutality.” The statement called on the U.N. to “step up and act decisively to help end systemic racism against people of African descent and other minority groups.”
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