New York: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the international community to eradicate racism and discrimination against people of African descent, a media report said.
The statement came on Friday as Ban launched the International Year for People of African Descent, established by the UN General Assembly to promote awareness and respect for the diverse heritage and culture of people of African origin, Xinhua reported.
The secretary-general welcomed the effort to "pay tribute to the vast contributions made by people of African descent to the advancement of political, economic, social and cultural development of all our societies".
He, however, said people of African descent are among those most affected by racism.
"Too often, they face denial of basic rights such as access to quality health services and education. Such fundamental wrongs have a long and terrible history," he said.
Ban urged the international community to ensure the full integration of people of African descent into all aspects of society including their full participation at all levels of decision-making.
The UN in 2001 adopted the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action - a comprehensive document that outlines concrete measures to combat racism and intolerance throughout the world.
First Published: Saturday, December 11, 2010, 14:05