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Joint statement at the Regional Meeting for Africa on the IDPAD

On October 24, 2019, US Human Rights Network Deputy Director Salimah Hankins delivered the following joint statement at the Regional Meeting for Africa on the International Decade for People of African Descent (23-24 October 2019, Dakar, Senegal).


Read the statement below:


Thank you Mr Chairperson and good afternoon everyone. I am Salimah Hankins, Deputy Director of the US Human Rights Network, and would like to read a statement made jointly by several civil society organizations that are present at this conference: 


  • Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity

  • Africa Solidarity Centre Ireland

  • A Healing Paradigm

  • European Network of People of African Descent (ENPAD)

  • PAD Belgium Observatory

  • US Human Rights Network

We would like to extend our gratitude to the organizers of this conference, the African Union and the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in collaboration with the Government of Senegal.


We note that this conference on the International Decade for People of African Descent in Africa -- in effect is a Pan-African conference.


The critical importance of a Pan-African perspective on the historical and continuing injustices facing people of African descent has already been mentioned by several speakers at this conference, including speakers on this mornings panel and from yesterday Ali Moussa, Youssef Carter, David Commissiong and Sister Esther Stanford-Xosei. The situation of systemic racial discrimination against people of African descent and the reparatory justice that is needed to eliminate it should not be understood in isolation from the experiences, histories and present-day situation of continental Africans. 


We welcome and affirm the Pan-African vision and objectives of the African Union Agenda 2063 and propose:


  • That the African Union find ways to engage concretely with the forthcoming UN Permanent Forum on People of African Descent -- for example, by making its recommendations part of the conversations of the Pan-African Parliament, making it a custom to host side-events at the sessions of the Forum and inviting the Forum to have sessions in Africa co-hosted by the African Union;

  • That the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in collaboration with the African Union and CARICOM co-organize a major international Pan-African Congress in a Caribbean country in 2023 or 2024 towards the closing of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. This as a way of building bridges between Africa and its Diaspora, furthering the Pan-Africanism of the African Union and promoting Pan-Africanism internationally in view of our shared histories and interests of recognition, justice and development.   

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