Within the framework of the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations, the Costa Rican Mission to the United Nations, in collaboration with the International Institute on Race, Equality, and Human Rights (Race & Equality), will hold a panel on 27 September named “The United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent – Recognition, Justice, and Development: The Need for Plans of Action to Combat Historic Inequalities Faced by Afro-descendants,” which will serve as a space for reflection with the participation of Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs from Costa Rica Epsy Campbell and the rapporteurs from the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) of the United Nations, Gay McDougall and Pastor Murillo.
The goal of this space is to explore strategies for developing concrete plans of action for combatting historic inequalities confronted by Afro-descendants in the Americas and the Caribbean. The panelists will share their experience with international standards for combatting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance, as well as discussing the possibility of developing best practices for consideration by States as they draft and apply their plans of action.
The International Decade for People of African Descent represents an important commitment to the fight against racism; as such, the scenarios for dialogue to sensitize and reflect on the urgent need to design mechanisms for action that foster respect for [and] protection of, as well as [enable the] exercise of all of the fundamental human rights and freedoms of Afro-descendants should constitute a priority commitment by States, while additionally reinforcing measures aimed at dismantling the numerous obstacles faced by millions of people in all regions of the world. It seeks to reinforce the laws that prohibit racial discrimination, help to guarantee their application, and foster greater awareness of Afro-descendants’ cultural heritage and that community’s fundamental contributions to the progress of humankind.
In 2014 the General Assembly approved a program of activities for the International Decade containing specific measures that should adopted by governments and all other agents whose efforts are related explicitly or implicitly to issues regarding Afro-descendants in any part of the world in the spheres highlighted by the Decade: recognition, justice, and development.