Moroccan representative Omar Zniber affirmed the country’s solidarity with condemnations against racism and calls for “long-awaited change.”
Rabat – The United Nations Council on Human Rights (UNHRC) held an urgent debate on Wednesday, June 17, to discuss the global outcry against racism and police brutality.
Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations Omar Zniber contributed to the discussion by expressing Morocco’s anti-racist solidarity and clear position on racism.
“Morocco aligns itself with all those who have spoken out strongly against racism and the acts of violence that flow from racism,” said Zniber. He went on to explain Morocco’s deep values of tolerance and coexistence, emphasizing that the country condemns all forms of racism.
The Moroccan diplomat echoed the council’s call to urgently address the issue and use current international momentum as an opportunity to prioritize creating “long-awaited change for the benefit of future generations.”
Zniber said Morocco is taking a “non-conflict” and “pragmatic” route to re-evaluating its approach toward systemic racisms and implementing new measures to identify all forms of oppression and police brutality caused by racism.
Other speakers from around the world urged the UN to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate systemic racism and law enforcement in the US. Meanwhile, a number of representatives underlined the need to identify the omnipresent racism in all countries.
Across the board, speakers stressed that Black lives matter and the brutal killing of George Floyd in the custody of US police officers is symbolic of the systemic racism and excessive force faced by people of color worldwide.
Morocco’s ongoing debate on anti-racism
During the UNCHR talk, Zniber spotlighted Morocco’s overwhelming tolerance, rooted in it’s plural identity. “As a melting pot of populations of diverse origins, enriched by its African, Andalusian, Hebrew and Mediterranean tributaries, Morocco is steeped in culture and values of tolerance, coexistence and recognition of the other,” he said.
Despite the country’s rich ethnic roots, Morocco, like most countries, has often struggled to uphold its legislative vision for unity.
“Equality in law alone does not ensure equality in fact,” Achiume continued. “Serious challenges persist and important work remains to be done to ensure racial equality and the right of all persons to be free from racial discrimination.”
The special Rapporteur’s report indicated that Morocco’s lack of a comprehensive anti-racism framework was one of the most problematic components to the country’s measures toward equality.
Achiume went on to address the various forms of ongoing discrmination faced by Amazigh (Berber) communities, as well as migrants and refugees.
While Morocco is making recognizable gains and commitments toward advancing their leadership in the realm of human rights, Zniber’s call to deepen institutionalized measures and more critically identify acts of racism, is one that should not go unheard.
The Human Rights Council will resume its discussion on racially inspired human rights violations next Thursday, June 18.