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SPLC addresses UN panels

Representatives from the Southern Poverty Law Center recently participated in a series of forums at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Brief statements form part of the basis for conclusions and recommendations made on the issues by relevant bodies after such sessions. Here are video clips of the statements offered by the SPLC:

Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law

Nov. 25, 2022 — “Strengthening Democracies to Build Back Better: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Lisa Borden, SPLC senior policy counsel, addressed a panel titled “All in This Together: Social Cohesion and Community-led Resilience and Response Systems.” Borden’s statement focused on the failure of United States and the international community to devote resources to early prevention of radicalization and the adoption of hate and extremist ideologies.

Forum on Minority Issues

Dec. 2, 2022 — “Review. Rethink. Reform. 30th anniversary of the U.N. Declaration on Minority Rights.”

The session aimed to address the strengths and weaknesses of existing mechanisms for the protection of minority rights in the hopes they could be changed to make them more effective.

Lecia Brooks, then-chief of staff and culture for the SPLC, participated as an expert in a panel discussion – “Open Dialogue: Urgent Situations of Minorities.” Brooks spoke about the rise in hate and extremism around the world.

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In a statement from the floor, Borden addressed the panel to note the threat posed by the presence of extremists in law enforcement and military organizations.

Permanent Forum on People of African Descent

Dec. 6, 2022 —  Opening meeting of a newly created U.N. body focused on protecting the rights of people of African descent.

Borden’s statement — made in response to earlier remarks regarding the United States’ full support in the forum’s mission — notes the lack of domestic implementation in the U.S. of human rights obligations for people of African descent, a sentiment later echoed in the session by forum member Justin Hansford.

(Photo Credit: Thomas Koehler/AP Images; Videos: Provided by United Nations)