"Racism continues to cause suffering for millions of people around the world.... I look to all people to join the United Nations in our drive to eliminate racism. We must, individually and collectively, stamp out racism, stigma and prejudice."
2012 Theme: "Racism and Conflict"
The theme was chosen to capture the often ignored yet mutually reinforcing relationship between racism and conflict. In many parts of the world, racism, prejudice and xenophobia create extreme tension and are used as powerful weapons to engender fear or hatred in times of conflict. Prejudice and xenophobia can even lead to genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes.
This year's theme aims to raise awareness of these issues and to recall the plight of the victims who suffered or continue to suffer as a result of racism-related conflicts.
The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us of our collective responsibility for promoting and protecting this ideal.