The statement, delivered by Humanists International’s Director of Advocacy, Elizabeth O’Casey, warned of a rise in far-right political influence and the promotion of ideologies based on religious- and ethno- nationalism and supremacy.
It was made in the context of a debate on the UN Durban Declaration on combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related Intolerance.
In her statement, O’Casey highlighted the fact that across Europe, there are parties in power with Nazi and neo-fascist roots. She also pointed out that, “there are political leaders, including government representatives, openly subscribing to the great replacement theory or warning of ‘ethnic replacement’ or the nation becoming ‘mixed race.’ Others, (for example in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, and Sweden) she said, have been associated with neo-Nazism or have expressed openly racist views.
The statement also highlighted the increasing “normalisation” of far-right policies within the mainstream, fuelling discrimination based on xenophobic and racist scapegoating. It noted that, social media and alternative platforms are widely used to “attention hack” with hate and fear campaigns, and disinformation.
The statement closed by noting that the UN Durban Declaration talks of the importance of remembering history to avert future tragedies and said,
“Mr. President, we have trodden this path before and know the dangers of standing by whilst ethno-nationalism and supremacist ideologies seep into wider acceptance. A world where what had previously provoked horror and outrage becomes something that is seen as the norm.”