At least 43 nations led by Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia pledged to combat antisemitism in a special statement issued at the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“We will remain steadfast in our pledge, never again,” said Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg as he issued a special video statement in which spoke about the danger of antisemitism.
“Even 75 years after the end of World War II it is a tragic reality that antisemitism is not a thing of the past,” Schallenberg stead.
“This venom still exists, right in the midst of our societies. This is why today we declare our unequivocal solidarity in the face of hatred,” he added.
“We restate our commitment to combating antisemitism and all forms of racism, prejudice and discrimination anywhere, at any time,”
The statement was the work of the Slavkov Format, under which Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia work on joint issues.
It was read out at the start of a debate on racism, antisemitism and the growing threat from hate speech and the glorification of Nazism.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed many crises and has diverted out attention from critical development such as rising antisemitism, intolerance and hatred,” Schallenberg said.
Such hatred, he said, is “toxic” to a democracy.
“This isn’t a fight between antisemites and Jews. This fight is between antisemites and anyone who believes in the values of equality, justice and liberty,” Schallenberg said.
Countries that signed the declaration included: Israel, Germany, the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honduras, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Australia, the United Kingdom, Greece, Belgium, Cyprus, Ukraine, Cameroon, Japan, Slovenia, Argentina, Armenia, Croatia, Finland, New Zealand, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Poland, Moldova, the Netherlands, Latvia, Romania, Seychelles, Lithuania, Estonia, Uruguay, Norway, and Sweden.