Updated: Jun 12
It is with deep concern that we follow the recent events in the United States – the murder of George Floyd, the protests that occurred in response to it, and the manner in which the crisis has been addressed by certain holders of the highest public offices – all of these have sent shockwaves across a world already reeling under the burden of an already unprecedented pandemic.
We express our deepest condolences to Mr Floyd’s family, and we share the public outrage regarding the discrimination and brutality that led to his death as well as the wider debate and protest about policing culture. We also stand behind the undeniable right of citizens to engage in peaceful protest as we fully support their demands for justice and overall societal change that will ensure that cases like this are eradicated.
As a public health organisation that researches and promotes one of the most fundamental human rights - the right to food and adequate nutrition - we are well aware of the issues of structural racism and discrimination, as well as the fragile situation of minority groups in many corners of the world, including in developed and industrialised nations. This is not only an infringement on basic human rights and dignity but also erodes the democratic values that ought to form the very fabric of our societies.
Black Lives Matter! We will continue to celebrate diversity within our core values as progress in science and health can only be achieved when inequity is eliminated. We hope that in this turbulent time, while we mourn the tragic loss of life, we also grow with wisdom and strength to push for meaningful societal change ensuring equal rights and opportunities for every human being regardless of the groups to which they belong.
Given our extensive regional networks in both developing and developed countries, we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to the principles of social justice by prioritising work with marginalised communities and minority groups, particularly to address food and health-related insecurity in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through our work, we will seek to uphold the equal value of all lives and envision a world free from health inequalities owing to discrimination in all its forms.
H Carter, C Laur, S Mitra, M Rajput-Ray, S Ray, B Stankovski, H Trigueiro
NNEdPro Equality and Diversity Response Team