United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that white supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are becoming “transnational threat” and have exploited the coronavirus pandemic to ramp up support.
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, he sounded worried about the “growing danger” of the hate-driven groups.
“White supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are more than domestic terror threats. They are becoming a transnational threat,” said Guterres.
Without naming any states, he said: “Today, these extremist movements represent the number one internal security threat in several countries.”
“Far too often, these hate groups are cheered on by people in positions of responsibility in ways that were considered unimaginable not long ago,” Guterres added.
He called for “global coordinated action to defeat this grave and growing danger.”
Guterres also accused authorities in some countries of using the COVID-19 pandemic to deploy “heavy-handed security responses and emergency measures to crush dissent”.
“At times, access to life-saving COVID-19 information has been concealed – while deadly misinformation has been amplified – including by those in power,” he said.
He warned about the power of digital platforms and the use and abuse of data.
He called on “all member states to make human rights the centre of regulatory frameworks and legislation on the development and use of digital technologies.”