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General Assembly: Informal meeting of the plenary on “Combating Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Racism and Hate – The Challenges of Teaching Tolerance and Respect in the Digital Age“
26 Jun 2019 -  Statement by the President of the General Assembly.
Statement by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
There are worrying signs that intolerance, racism, xenophobia and discrimination are on the rise in our societies, including in the online world. Most recently, hate crimes have targeted persons of a certain religious, ethnic or other ground, in schools, community centers, museums and places of culture and identity; and some have targeted persons in places of worship – like the most recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and USA. Observing the trends globally, it seems the challenges are greater than ever.
Despite this, the international community still lacks a holistic and comprehensive approach to face these growing challenges. Antisemitism is often referred to as “the oldest hatred” and represents a particularly virulent form of irrational hate and prejudice against a specific group. But Antisemitism is not a problem for Jewish communities alone; it is also a deep-seated threat to democratic societies themselves. Its outbreaks often mark deeper malaise and deep-rooted discriminatory attitudes which are often fueled by conspiracy myths.
Regrettably, Antisemitism increasingly intersects with other forms of hatred and prejudice directed against identity-based groups and individuals, including religious, ethnic and sexual identity groups.
This meeting is intended to enable a discussion on ways social media and other digital tools can be used for educational purposes, for instance to share best practices and lessons learned on combating hatred and intolerance. The event will invite reflection on how new media can be used to promote shared values, tolerance and mutual respect, and will examine means of addressing the pervasiveness of dangerous hate speech and its propagation through social media and other online platforms and mitigating its impact on societies.
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