Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa makes this appeal in a message published on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic.

On this International Day of Struggle for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the President of the Republic calls for "unity around a more inclusive and less unjust Portugal, where the possibility of a dignified and full life can be within the reach of all, regardless of their ethnicity and origin".

"At a time of challenges – from the recent pandemic to the effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the daily lives of all – let us not allow prejudice and mistrust to take the place of friendship, open dialogue and good neighbourliness," the head of state said.

"Let's focus on what brings us closer. May the country we leave to the next generations be fairer in diversity than the one in which we were born into," adds Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

The United Nations (UN) has established March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorating the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa.

On March 21, 1960, in Sharpeville, South African police opened fire and killed 69 people in a peaceful demonstration against apartheid regime legislation of racial segregation.