NEW YORK, 14 February 2021 – An audit has revealed that racism is deep-rooted across the United Nations Organization, holding back and victimizing staff of color.
The document says that the world organization works in “a general climate of discrimination” that creates barriers to recruitment and promotion of people of color.
“You never imagine this kind of behavior…I was in denial until I was personally confronted with discrimination,” a former senior official of the UNFPA of African descent told the audit.
The senior official – of African descent – said she saw racist colleagues “make up bogus excuses to leave meetings I was presiding over”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged last June 4 that the scourge of racism “also exists within the United Nations”.
“We have not paid enough attention within the organization to the specific question of racial bias and discrimination,” Guterres conceded during a virtual townhall meeting.
The UN Secretary-General promised last June that “a plan of action” and “an open debate” were forthcoming.
The Association of United Nations Staff says they are still waiting for the plan of action and the promised open debate.
African ambassadors and permanent representatives to the United Nations have expressed an eagerness to be involved in resolving the problem.
Last November 30, African ambassadors and permanent representatives issued a call to action titled “United against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.
The permanent observer mission of the African Union to the United Nations officially transmitted the call to action to Secretary-General Guterres last January 4.
Nothing has been heard from the office of the Secretary General ever since the document was received.