India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations - Ambassador T S Tirumurti - on Wednesday said "discrimination, racial or otherwise, is being used as an excuse to take up terrorism" and called on UN bodies to ensure terrorism is not justified on any ground.
The remarks came during a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration.
"To resist colonialism and racial discrimination, Mahatma Gandhi forged the weapon of satyagraha, or truth and non-violence. With this he led India to freedom. Our nation rests on the principles of democracy, pluralism, equality and justice. The Indian Constitution enshrined safeguards against racism and racial discrimination," Mr Tirumurti said.
"We have seen how discrimination, racial or otherwise, is being used as an excuse to take up terrorism. We call on UN bodies to ensure terrorism is not justified on any ground. State-sponsored terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism lead to disharmony in societies and increase in discrimination against minorities," he added.
He also said, "New forms of media have emerged as a platform for amplifying racial hatred and discriminatory ideas. We need to tackle this 'infodemic' with all our might to ensure social cohesion."
Adopted by consensus at the 2001 World Conference against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa, the DDPA (Durban Declaration and Programme of Action) is an action-oriented document that proposes concrete measures to combat racial discrimination and intolerance.
Ambassador Tirumuti said at the event, "We (India) reiterate our firm commitment to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and seek to adopt more effective measures to enhance its effective implementation."
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during his address said, "20 years after the Durban Declaration, racism reverberates in echo chambers of hate" and the world is witnessing "a troubling rise" in antisemitism, growing anti-Muslim bigotry and mistreatment of minority Christians.
He urged everyone to condemn discrimination, hateful speech and baseless assertions, as those pushing that ideology today denigrate "our essential fight against racism".