New Zealand's PM Called for a Global Fight Against Racism.

What Would That Look Like?
It starts with acknowledging the deep roots of racism.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meeting with the representatives of the refugee centre during a visit to the Canterbury Refugee Centre in Christchurch, on March 16, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

Following the Mar. 15 terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for a global effort to root out racism and bigotry, according to the BBC.

She said that the background of the terrorist, who was born and raised in Australia and traveled the world, shows that bigotry is an international threat that requires international coordination to overcome.

"What New Zealand experienced here was violence brought against us by someone who grew up and learned their ideology somewhere else,” she said in the interview. “If we want to make sure globally that we are a safe and tolerant and inclusive world we cannot think about this in terms of boundaries."

Since the shooting, Ardern has repeatedly condemned bigotry and she announced a ban on assault rifles on Thursday.

Defeating racism at a global level is another matter altogether — but Ardern could instigate progress.

“I hope she’s serious, because her representatives at the UN could call on both the General Assembly and Security Council to have a special session on the matter,” Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston who has written numerous books on the history of racism in the US, told Global Citizen. “Experts could be brought on, and an action plan could be developed if she’s serious.”  

The United Nations has long campaigned to eliminate racism and xenophobia, and recently adopted a new resolution that outlines a strategy for achieving this outcome. The global organization releases reports on the various forms of xenophobia, invites everyday people to fight racism in their daily lives, and advises governments on policies that promote tolerance and inclusivity.

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