Addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council on 22 February , the Secretary-General warned about transnational threats from racism, white supremacists and neo-Nazis, saying:
The rot of racism eats away at institutions, social structures and everyday life — sometimes invisibly and insidiously. I welcome the new awakening in the global fight for racial justice, a surge of resistance against being reduced or ignored — often led by women and young people. As they have highlighted, we have a long way to go. I commend the Human Rights Council decision to report on systemic racism, accountability and redress, and responses to peaceful anti-racism protests — and look forward to concrete action.
We must also step up the fight against resurgent neo-Nazism, white supremacy and racially and ethnically motivated terrorism. The danger of these hate-driven movements is growing by the day. Let us call them what they are: white supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are more than domestic terror threats; they are becoming a transnational threat.
These and other groups have exploited the pandemic to boost their ranks through social polarization and political and cultural manipulation. Today, these extremist movements represent the number one internal security threat in several countries. Individuals and groups are engaged in a feeding frenzy of hate — fundraising, recruiting and communicating online, both at home and overseas, travelling internationally to train together and network their hateful ideologies.
Far too often, these hate groups are cheered on by people in positions of responsibility in ways that were considered unimaginable not long ago. We need global, coordinated action to defeat this grave and growing danger.
We must also place a special focus on safeguarding the rights of minority communities, many of whom are under threat around the world. Minority communities are part of the richness of our cultural and social fabric. Just as biodiversity is fundamental to human well-being, the diversity of communities is fundamental to humanity.
Yet, we see not only forms of discrimination, but also policies of assimilation that seek to wipe out the cultural and religious identity of minority communities. When a minority community’s culture, language or faith are under attack, all of us are diminished. When authorities cast suspicion on entire groups under the guise of security, all of us are threatened. These measures are doomed to backfire.
We must continue to push for policies that fully respect human rights and religious, cultural and unique human identity. And we must simultaneously nurture the conditions for each community to feel that they are fully part of society as a whole.
This was not the first time he had spoken on this topic. On 25 January he spoke at the New York Park East Synagogue and the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Service , saying:
The pandemic has put societies to the test. It has exacerbated long-standing injustices and divisions. And it has contributed to a resurgence of xenophobia, antisemitism, and hate speech.
Propaganda linking Jews with the pandemic, for example, by accusing them of creating the virus as part of a bid for global domination, would be ridiculous, if it were not so dangerous. This is just the latest manifestation of an anti-Semitic trope that dates back to at least the fourteenth century, when Jews were accused of spreading the bubonic plague.
Anti-Semitism is the oldest, most persistent and entrenched form of racism and religious persecution in our world. From Imperial Rome to medieval Europe to the modern world, Jews and their communities have suffered two millennia of attacks, expulsions and periodic mass killings. In the nineteenth century, Jews were blamed for financial crashes in which they themselves were the main victims.
Anti-Semitism found its most horrific expression in the Holocaust. The universal revulsion at this crime, followed by the founding of the United Nations and the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, promised an end.
But it did not end. Anti-Semitism continues to blight our world. It is sad, but not surprising, that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered yet another eruption of this poisonous ideology. We can never let down our guard.
Today, Holocaust denial, distortion and minimization are resurgent. In Europe, the United States and elsewhere, white supremacists are organizing and recruiting across borders, flaunting the symbols and tropes of the Nazis and their murderous ambitions. We have seen shocking examples in this nation’s capital in recent days.
 Full text of the speech of the Secretary-General to the Human Rights Council on 22 February: https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sgsm20589.doc.htm
 Full text of the speech of the Secretary-General at the New York Park East Synagogue on 25 January: https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sgsm20553.doc.htm