The 193-member body unanimously adopted a resolution establishing the United Nations Permanent Forum for People of African Descent, a 10-member advisory body that will work closely with the Geneva-based forum. Human Rights Council.
The new forum will serve as a consultation mechanism for people of African descent and other stakeholders, and will contribute to the drafting of a United Nations declaration – a “first step towards a legally binding instrument” on promoting and fully respecting the rights of people. African descent.
Negotiations on the working modalities of the Permanent Forum began in November 2014, when the General Assembly formally launched International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).
With the resolution adopted on Monday – which clarifies the mandate of the new body for the first time – the association expressed concern about the spread of extremist racist movements around the world, and deplored the “persistent and renewed scourge of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and” associated intolerance.
The move comes a few days after the Human Rights Council set up a panel of experts to investigate systematic racism in policing against people of African descent, and in the wake of Transfer by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), prompted by the police killing of George Floyd in 2020.
In that report and various public statements, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said pointing to to the “worsening inequalities” and “blatant social, economic and political marginalization” that Africans and people of African descent face in many countries.
The report also notes that “no country has comprehensively taken into account the past or current impact of systemic racism” and calls for a transformative plan to address violence against people of African descent.
Expert advice across the United Nations
The Permanent Forum for People of African Descent will consist of five members nominated by governments and then elected by the General Assembly, and five additional members appointed by the Human Rights Council.
Among other mandates, it will seek to promote the full political, economic and social inclusion of people of African descent in the societies in which they live – as equal citizens without discrimination, with equal human rights – and to contribute to the development of a United Nations declaration on the rights of people of African descent.
The Forum will provide expert advice and recommendations to the Human Rights Council, Main Committees of the Assembly, and various UN entities working on issues related to racial discrimination.
It will also collect best practices and monitor progress in the effective implementation of the activities of the International Decade, and collect relevant information from governments, UN bodies, non-governmental groups and other relevant sources.
The first session of the Permanent Forum will be held in 2022, with subsequent annual sessions alternating between Geneva and New York.