Given some recent political opinions regarding immigration in this city of Badalona, the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia considers it necessary to express all citizens, political groups in the city and its civil society:
That the necessary and essential struggle against the causes and manifestations of antisocial behavior and insecurity, should not be identified with the status of immigrant, because it could confuse the public and commit an injustice and a irresponsibility that threatens peaceful coexistence in the city.
That integration policies need a dialogical and synergistic effort of the whole society and they are an expression of a process that policy makers must accompany or lead from the serenity and rigorously avoiding any kind of opportunism, instrumentalization, precipitation and banalization. The interruption of this process is always counterproductive and has negative consequences for social cohesion because it generates resistance and hostility and, perhaps, a clash between groups of citizens, especially in times of acute social and economic crisis.
That it is contrary to the spirit of universal human rights to make use of a discourse that encourages discrimination and arbitrary hierarchical categorization of citizens based on their ethnic, cultural or religious origin, and that puts aside the principle of equality. If there must be some priority, it should be in any case to pay more attention to those who suffer in our society, whatever their identity. The degree of bravery of the responses given to the existing situation must be assessed from the ability to manage and respond to social challenges instead of populism and polemics intended to segregate.
The UNESCO Centre of Catalonia regrets that recent statements by some politicians are considered as role model because they will not contribute to creating a climate suitable to face together the challenges of a convivial, just and prosperous town. We ask and hope that these politicians reconsider and rectify their speech and that caution, prudence and responsibility will guide the next election campaign. For the sake of the citizens of Badalona and our whole society.