International Year for People of African Descent (2011)

2011 has been designated as the International Year for People of African Descent by the United Nations General Assembly (UN resolution A/RES/64/169). The World Conference Against Racism (commonly known as the Durban Conference), which adopted a declaration declaring slavery and the colonization that supported it to be crimes against humanity, also celebrated its 10th anniversary that year.

The International Year for People of African Descent aims to acknowledge and promote the achievements made by people of African descent and to increase international collaboration for their benefit.

The following precise goals for the International Decade were defined by resolution:
  • In order to ensure that individuals of African origin can fully exercise their economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights and participate equally and fully in all facets of society, national, regional, and international action and collaboration must be strengthened;
  • To increase awareness of and respect for the rich heritage, culture, and contributions of people of African origin to society's growth;
  • Establishing and strengthening legal frameworks at the national, regional, and international levels in accordance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and ensuring their effective and complete implementation.
The tenth anniversary of the Durban Conference, which focused on issues of structural discrimination against people of African ancestry and produced the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, fell within the International Year for People of African Descent (DDPA). These structural discrimination-related issues include:
  • Health.
  • Education Access.
  • Administration of the law.
  • The gathering of data that has been broken down as a weapon against structural prejudice.
The Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and other organizations suggested several ways for nations to observe the year. They want to significantly advance the fight against prejudices against persons of African heritage, including racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and other associated prejudices. These included activities like conferences, workshops, expositions, as well as instructional ones, although they weren't limited to those. To make the International Year for People of African Descent a success, the UN urges all nations to take part in various events.

In particular, the Guyanese government celebrated the year by highlighting the distinctive contributions that Guyanese of African descent have made to the nation's history, culture, and multiethnic heritage. The Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sport of Guyana will coordinate a countrywide program of events and activities to honor and recognize the rich legacy of individuals of African descent and their unique contribution to Guyana's establishment and growth as a nation.

Since ancient times, people of African heritage have endured slavery, institutional discrimination, and racism. Due in major part to the numerous African descendants who were carried from Africa by the trans-Atlantic slave trade, many are distributed around the world. The most egregious instance of structural prejudice is presented in this circumstance.

Numerous studies have been conducted throughout the years to address the plight of those of African heritage, but there hasn't been much practical action taken as a result. There is an urgent need for a number of the concrete special measures that have been identified, with regular evaluation of effectiveness and results, and for the concerned governments to assume proactive ownership of the process with the assistance of the international community.

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