USHRN advocates around the IDPAD during the UN General Assembly
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) opened on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. This year's UNGA theme is "Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion". The UNGA is one of the six main organs of the UN; every September, all 193 Member States of the UN meet to discuss and work together on international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations.
This year marks the middle of the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD). As we reach the mid-point of the decade, leaders from across the nation and the world are organizing around the UNGA to advocate for People of African Descent (PAD) and issues affecting PAD communities internationally. One of the primary goals of PAD organizing around the UNGA is to ensure that PAD leaders and communities have a voice in the establishment of a United Nations Permanent Forum for People of African Descent, and drafting of a Declaration on the Rights of People of African Descent.
The US Human Rights Network has led civil society organizing around both the creation of a Permanent Forum and Declaration on PAD. We continue to lead organizing efforts for advocacy both nationally and internationally through the USHRN National People of African Descent Working Group and the International Network of People of African Descent. This week, USHRN Executive Director Dr. Rosalee Gonzalez and Deputy Director Salimah Hankins will be leading and participating in key PAD advocacy events around the UNGA.
A key event among several occurring this week is the Global Summit and Roundtable on the UN International Decade for People of African Descent, where Dr. Rosalee Gonzalez will be presenting. The Global Summit will discuss ongoing advocacy around the IDPAD, including by learning from various nations and communities around the world. USHRN Executive Director Dr. Rosalee Gonzalez will be presenting on the creation of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) as a model to learn from. She will discuss the UNPFII creation process, advocacy around it, and lessons learned to be improved upon.
The Summit is taking “Canada as Gold Standard” based upon Canada’s First Nations process which began in 1991 when the Canadian government established the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The Royal Commission resulted in a government-issued apology and approximately $2 billion federal dollars for a truth and reconciliation commission, as well as financial compensation for survivors under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
In addition to various PAD advocacy events, the US Human Rights Network has reached out and aims to meet with multiple UN Permanent Missions during the UNGA to advocate around the creation of the Permanent Forum and Declaration on PAD, with the goal of bringing grassroots voices to the table and discussing the international civil society consensus proposal submitted earlier this year.
We will keep you updated on our work around the UNGA in the coming weeks.