March 21, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you, Mr. President of the General Assembly, Mr. Secretary, general, excellencies, distinguished guests. In 1948, the world came together to declare that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international community made a historic promise that no person should be treated differently on the basis of their race or color. 75 years later, we have not reached that mountain top of racial equity. Too many people around the world still face racial hatred. Too many still struggle against the shackles of racial violence and poverty. Millions are still left behind in the depths of displacement and despair. As New York City's second Black mayor, I know what it feels like to be rejected, understand the pain of so many who face daily obstacles to opportunities. Discrimination has no borders. We see it in education, we see it in healthcare, we see it in climate change. We see it in access to clean water and healthy food.
I'm proud to say that since I took office, New York City's leading the way in the fight against racial discrimination. Our first-in-the-nation Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes is seeing success. This year alone, hate crimes are down across New York City by nearly 70 percent. We know that we cannot do this work alone, which is why my administration is investing in community organizations to fight hate, bias, and discrimination. And we are working to close the opportunity gap with more jobs, job training, and affordable housing. We are also building trust and understanding across the five boroughs. With our program, Breaking Bread, Building Bonds, this initiative will call on New Yorkers to host 1,000 dinners across the city. Each dinner will have at least 10 people. They will all come from different backgrounds and cultures, and we're doing something revolutionary: we're having conversations with each other; we're learning from one another; bringing people of all different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds together to share meals will allow us to embrace our diversity.
As an organized group, we'll stand together against all forms of hate. We are making progress, but we must keep climbing as a city, as a nation, and as an international community. In the year 2023, there's simply no space for race, gender, or sexual orientation discrimination anywhere in the world. My friends, we cannot be detached spectators as we watch discrimination continue to affect the lives of so many. We cannot sit on the benches. We must get on the field and join the fight together. We have come too far to give in to forces of complacency. The work won't be easy, but we must take solace in all those who came before and sacrificed so much. It's leaders like Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — the time to realize their legacy is now. We cannot waste another moment. We must join hands from Cape Town to Queens and recommit ourselves to the promise of racial equality. Together, we can reach the mountain top and build a more equal world. Together, we can end racial discrimination. Together, we will succeed. Thank you.