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International Year of People of African Descent

February 27th, 2011

On 18 December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year beginning on 1 January 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent.

The Year aims at strengthening national actions and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent in relation to their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture.

The General Assembly encourages Member States, the specialized agencies of the United Nations system, within their respective mandates and existing resources, and civil society to make preparations for and identify possible initiatives that can contribute to the success of the Year.

Full text of the Resolution (Download PDF)

More information can be found on the UN website

The Year aims at strengthening national action and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent.

This includes their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture.

The UN Human Rights office in Geneva (OHCHR) has issued an information note giving background on the human rights concerns of people of African descent, as well as highlighting the objectives of the Year. This is available in English with French and Spanish versions available soon.

A webpage dedicated to the International Year, with more background information, statements and feature stories will be created soon on the UN Human Rights office website: www.ohchr.org. It will also include a signature design for the Year which can be used on all public information products.

A variety of activities are planned throughout 2011 by Member States as well as civil society to raise awareness about the Year and of the situation of Afro-descendants including their contribution to the societies where they live.

The Year in UN highlights:

10 December 2010: Official launch of the International Year by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York.

2 March 2011: Panel on the enjoyment of human rights of people of African descent at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

7 March 2011: Full day’s discussion on discrimination against people of African descent during the session of the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva.

21 March 2011: The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will focus on people of African descent.

25 March 2011: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the transatlantic Slave Trade.

28 March – 1 April 2011: Annual meeting in Geneva of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which will include a thematic discussion that seeks to contextualize the International Year.

September 2011: Closing event of the Year at the UN General Assembly, New York

You are encouraged to undertake activities to promote the International Year, especially during the week of 21-25 March, which incorporates the International Days for anti-racism and victims of the slave trade.

Visit the webpage on the Working Group of Expert on People of African Descent...

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