Guyana Permanent Representative to the United Nations Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett has denied allegations that Guyana voted against a UN resolution on a call for action to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
In a statement Saturday night, Rodrigues-Birkett said Guyana actually sponsored the resolution and would not have voted against it.
Her statement follows:
It has been brought to my attention that circulation on social media is the claim that Guyana voted against a United Nations resolution entitled “A global call for decisive action to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and action comprehensive and follow up work on the Durban Declaration and Action Program ”. This is completely false and cannot be further from the truth. As Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, I wish to confirm that Guyana voted in favor of the resolution when it was adopted in the General Assembly on December 31st, 2020.
Indeed, as Chairman of G77 and China, Guyana was the major sponsor of the decision and, in conjunction with South Africa, facilitated the discussions for this Resolution in the Third Committee. The Guyana representative introduced the Resolution at the Third Committee on November 19th, 2020, which reminded the Committee that 2021 would mark the 20th Anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action and, as such, the G77 and China introduced changes significant to the Decision with the aim of commemorating this important milestone. He said amongst other things:
“The Durban Declaration and Program of Action emphasizes that equality and non-discrimination are fundamental principles of international human rights and international humanitarian law and are essential in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. It includes a holistic agenda that encompasses measures to improve education and awareness, to combat poverty and marginalization, and to ensure inclusive development. Its relevance is further strengthened by the recognized link between combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The G77 and China regard the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Action Program as a valuable opportunity to improve public understanding of its comprehensive nature, and as a timely reminder that racism, race discrimination xenophobia and related intolerance are a commonplace they must be deleted….
The Group believes that, in the forthcoming commemoration, more attention should be given to the issues affecting African-Americans. The International Decade for African-American Persons and the adoption of the program of activities for implementing the Decade by consensus is integral to the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Action Program. “
At the end of the Declaration, Guyana invited delegations to co-sponsor and vote in favor of the resolution.
It should be noted that the automatic generation of the vote as shown on the screen in the room at the time of voting is not the last official record of the meeting.
Needless to say, Guyana, as proposer of a Resolution, would not have voted against our own decision.