THE African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) on Monday joined the rest of the world to say “enough of the race-induced injustices” against people of African descent.

Comrade Adu-Amankwah

ITUC-frica’s call is a response to the establishment of a Permanent Forum on People of African Descent by the United Nations (UN-PFPAD) to serve as an inclusive consultation mechanism that will act as an advisory body to the UN on matters concerning people of African descent.

In the statement issued from its regional headquarters in Lomé, capital of the Republic of Togo on Monday, May 10, 2021, and signed by Comrade Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, General Secretary; ITUC-Africa stated that it believes that the establishment of UN-PFPAD “will contribute to addressing the vulnerability and other injustices that Africans, blacks and persons of African descent are subjected to.”

While urging all the members of the UN General Assembly, USA, Europe, particularly France, and Japan “to display genuine understanding, solidarity and support for this initiative,” Comrade Adu-Amankwah said “[t]he world must quit playing vested-interest politics with race relations and embrace genuine collaboration in advancing the human dignity of every person.”

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He asserts that African workers strongly back the initiative as it will create the forum for debate, analysis and proposals on how to address “historical, institutional and systematic injustices that Blacks and people of African descent have been subjected to for over four centuries.”

The statement further stressed: “It is well known that the historical and systematic injustices perpetrated through slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism largely account for the structural dysfunction of the African economy and its consignment to the periphery of the global economy. We recall also the many years of apartheid and racial segregation that millions of people have suffered in Africa, the Americas and other parts of the world. They have contributed to life-long displacement and dislocations of African peoples and their communities around the world. These regrettable developments, together with internal contradictions such as impunity and mismanagement, have combined to make Africa the world’s main development challenge.

“In the current 21st century, blacks and peoples of African descent are being subjected to renewed injustices triggered and sustained by discrimination and racism. Race hierarchy and superiority skewed against Blacks and people of African descent have exposed them to untold vulnerability and made them easy and unjust targets for violence. Their socio-economic and political rights have also been diminished and hindered on account of systemic deprivations.”

Background
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has been working to create a permanent Forum on People of African Descent since November 2014, when it was mandated to do so through the UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/69/16 entitled: “Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent”.

Pursuant to the resolution, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights invited in March 2015 interested stakeholders, individuals, groups and organisations to submit information on their vision for the new forum on people of African descent.

The General Assembly decided, in resolution A/RES/73/262, “to establish a permanent forum on people of African descent, which will serve as a consultation mechanism for people of African descent and other interested stakeholders as a platform for improving the quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent and to contribute to elaborating a United Nations declaration, which is the first step towards a legally binding instrument, on the promotion and full respect of human rights of people of African descent, and that the modalities, format and substantive and procedural aspects of the permanent forum will be concluded by Member States and observer States, with further consultations with people of African descent.”

To read ITUC-Africa’s full statement, click: ITUC-Africa UN-PFPAD Statement

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