The UN General Assembly approved a resolution on Monday establishing a Permanent Forum of People of African Descent to provide expert advice on addressing the challenges of racism, intolerance, xenophobia and racial discrimination.
The resolution adopted by the unison of the 193-member world body believes the forum serves as a platform for improving the safety and quality of life and livelihoods of people of African lineage and their incorporation in their respective societies.
The forum's establishment comes along the International Decade for People of African Descent, established by the General Assembly, which began on January 1, 2015, and will end on December 31, 2024. It's eminently focusing on the motifs of justice, recognition, and development.
The new body's creation comes preceding the 20th anniversary of the controversial September 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, which was dominated by clashes over the Middle East and slavery. During the meeting, the US and Israel walked out over a draft resolution that pointed out Israel for criticism and likened Zionism to racism.
Perturbation of Slavery
The documents also expressed deep remorse at the human suffering caused by slavery. They acknowledged that from the very beginning, slavery and the slave trade are crimes against humanity.
The General Assembly said that despite making numerous efforts to tackle racism, instances and copious forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and intolerance remain widespread and should be convicted.
According to the assembly, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies. Any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically incorrect, morally condemnable, socially unjust and unsafe and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the balance of separate human races existence.
'Global Fight Against Racism': Pressing Matter
The assembly feels that the global fight against racism is a pressing matter for the international community. The Permanent Forum of People of African Descent was given a set of mandates which includes helping to ensure the full political, economic and social incorporation of people of African descent, providing expert advice and recommendations on addressing racism to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, the General Assembly's central committees and UN agencies.
The resolution said the forum would consist of 10 members — five elected by the General Assembly from all regions and five appointed by the Human Rights Council following consultations with regional groups and organizations of people of African descent.
The forum's first session will take place in 2022. After four sessions the General Assembly will call for annual reports based on the assessment done by the Human Rights Council on the forum's activities.