UNITED NATIONS, Feb 18 (APP):The President of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, Thursday called for “bold” action for eliminating existing structural racism and injustice, saying promotion of equality and non-discrimination must remain a priority for the world community.

“The COVID-19 crisis has revealed existing inequalities in unequal access to food, education, health, housing, as well as access to justice. It has also incited xenophobia and discrimination,” he said in his opening remarks to a Special Ministerial Meeting of the 54-member Council.

The meeting has been convened to discuss “Reimagining Equality: Eliminating racism, xenophobia and discrimination for all in the Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.

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“We must address the Structural inequalities in economic, social and political spheres,” the ECOSOC chief said.

Noting that reducing inequalities is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Ambassador Akram said, “Leaving no one behind is also the overarching principle for this universal framework.”

During the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations last September, he pointed out that the world leaders committed to addressing the root causes of inequalities, including violence, human rights abuses, corruption, marginalization, discrimination in all its forms, poverty and exclusion, as well as lack of education and employment.

“Solidarity and cooperation among countries, societies, communities, and individual citizens is the only possible way to eliminating racism, xenophobia and discrimination for all,” the ECOSOC chief said.

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Stressing the need to re-imagine the economic and financial models, priorities and assumptions, Ambassador Akram said, “They need to be people-centered and serve humanity. Systems that perpetuate racism and inequalities must be dismantled.”

“Time,” he added “is of the essence; we have reached a tipping point in which economic, social and environmental inequalities are intersecting in intolerable ways.”