Did you know we are in the midst of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent?
On the 23rd of December 2013, the UN General Assembly decided on resolution 68/237, proclaiming a decade dedicated to people of African descent. The period runs from 2015 to 2024, promoting the themes of recognition, justice, and development. 15 million Africans were horrifically victimized by the Transatlantic slave trade over a 400 year period. Today, decades after the end of the slave trade, the devastating effects are still being felt. Racial discrimination and xenophobia still plague people of African descent around the world. The decade is dedicated to a people and their heritage, to enlighten the world about their plight and to help improve lives worldwide.
The primary objective of the decade is to promote protection and respect for people of the African diaspora while at the same time, fulfilling their fundamental freedoms and human rights. The decade provides a chance for the world to recognize people of African descent for their contributions to society. It will also be a platform through which measures are taken to ensure their full inclusion in societal matters, combatting racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination. The decade also hopes to provide a deeper knowledge and respect for the different cultures and heritage that relate to the people of African descent. Other hopes are to be able to strengthen national and international frameworks and to ensure they are fully implemented as per the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
This initiative has been a platform for the United Nations, other organizations, civil societies and member states to unite and connect with the African diasporic community. At the national level, individual states are expected to take practical steps to develop policies, programs, and legal frameworks that root out all forms of racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. The regional and international levels are expected to be platforms for raising awareness about issues relating to people of African descent. They will also be responsible for statistical data collection, preservation of the historical memory of people of African descent and incorporation of human rights into the various developmental programs. Girls and women especially, are to be considered in all these. Several activities have been undertaken in the spirit of recognition, appreciation, and development of African peoples. To learn more about the UN International Decade for People of African descent, and to find information on past and upcoming regional events, visit the official website.