Caricom restates support for Int'l Decade for People of African DescentSaturday, April 18, 2015
NEW YORK, USA (CMC) — St Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador to the United Nations, I Rhonda King, has affirmed the commitment of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to the International Decade for People of African Descent, as pronounced by the United Nations, which began on January 1.
Addressing the just concluded International Reparations Summit here, King said the accompanying Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade will contribute to the full implementation of the Durban Declaration and to its Programme of Action, and raise awareness in combating racism, prejudice and intolerance.
"We see the International Decade for 'People of African Descent, with its theme, People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice and Development', as an important space for diplomatic engagement," the envoy said. "The programme of activities which accompanies the Decade will address many of the concerns of the African descendant communities."
She added: "We can no longer accept a mere nibbling away at the edges of these concerns. Until and unless the issue of reparatory justice for slavery is addressed, due recognition, justice and development for People of African Descent will remain incomplete."
In this context, King said the steps to be taken by the International community, and international and regional organisations during this Decade, as outlined in the Programme of Action, will include engagement with people of African descent.
With respect to the steps and measures to be taken by the UN General Assembly, King said these will include the decision to establish a forum to serve as a consultation mechanism to be provided by one of the existing Durban follow-up mechanisms, such as the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent or the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
This year marks the convergence of several events, including the launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent; the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Post-2015 Development Agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals and Financing for Development component; and the 70th Anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations. King said Caricom maintains that "we have arrived at the crossroads of new possibilities?.
Delegates at the major reparations summit, organised by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), agreed to consolidate the growing African global reparations movement and to call on all civil society organisations and governments in countries around the world, with Afro-descendant populations, to establish national reparations commissions or committees.
The IBW is a leading research, policy and advocacy group with offices in New York and Baltimore.
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