Europe Region Civil Society Coalition for Decade for People of African Descent established

The Europe Region Civil Society Coalition for the UN International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) has seen the light.

This Europe Region Civil Society Coalition is one of the results after evaluation of the working group session that was organized by the Central Council of the African Community in Germany and lead by Yonas Endrias (Germany) during the PAD (People of African Descent) week and after consultation of the key people in Germany as well in other parts of Europe. The PAD week was co-organized by the Each One Touch One (EOTO) organization from 28 -30 November, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. PAD week brought more than 200 Africans and People of African Descent in Europe together.

Dr. Barryl Biekman (Netherlands) one of the speakers at the working group session in her statement informed participants about the background of the IDPAD whereby she referred to the UN World Conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (WCAR) that was held in Durban South Africa 2001; the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA); the follow-up UN meetings such as the Durban Review 2009, and regional conferences and the affiliated declarations and resolutions.

She informed participants about the status of development of the UN Permanent Forum on People of African Descent and about the processes and achievements in the Netherlands. She stressed that both the Programme of Activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent and the DDPA must be fully and simultaneously implemented.

Participants at the working group session used their momentum to exchange information regarding the implementation of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent in their country or in the German local government perspective. Most of the Europe Region UN member states have not launched the UN Decade (yet) and/or developed a National Action Plan (NAP) for implementation of the IDPAD. While NAPs are essential in the process of the fully implementation of the UN IDPAD. This includes a responsibilities-structure, coupled with appropriate policy instruments, including an adequate functional and monitoring system. Specific policies must be developed in order to address the multiple dimensions and forms of racism against People of African Descent also defined as Afrophobia. Efforts to unify and strengthening the work within the Civil Society POAD communities should be supported as well as processes for self-reparation.

UN Member states should translate into their national languages and publish the key UN declarations and programmes relevant to the Decade, including the DDPA and the declarations from the follow up meetings and the Programme of Activities of the Decade as all of them have been adopted by the states at the UN General Assembly.

According to Esther Stanford-Xosei (UK), one of the speakers at the working group session: “It is time that we as Africans and People of African Descent reclaim our power to address the issues impacting on our communities. We have to show concrete leadership in Europe in demonstrating the best strategies for implementing this International Decade. This means taking responsibility by way of stewardship in formulating the policy and programmatic changes we wish to see in exercising our right to exercise global African citizenship as a way of strengthening our rights as people of African descent, locally, nationally in full implementation of the IDPAD. We have to bring the youth, elders and all generations in between together, utilizing our community strengths and assets to compel supportive action from governments on a local, regional and national level. By the 1th of January 2020, it must be clear for all the United Nation member states that time for denial of the rights of People of African Descent to recognition, reparatory justice and development is over. “

For participants is was disturbing news that during the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly on November 19th 2019, several UN members states of Europe including Germany, UK, France voted against1 the Resolution entitled “Global Call for concrete action for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. ”

Others such as the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland abstained. Participants asked questions about why Germany voted against while during the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly in May 15th 2002, Germany voted in favor of the Resolution A/56/5813 on the “Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. ”

Dr. Barryl Biekman emphasized that the same question was asked about why the Netherlands abstained while the Netherlands was the first UN member state where the IDPAD was launched on national state level.

Yonas Endrias informed participants about the achievements of his involvement until to date since the Durban Conference in 2001 (WCAR), before and after: “in the fight against racism we have to remind ourselves the process, negotiations and whatsoever that lead to the adoption of the DDPA. Germany and all other UN member states in Europe must be reminded that they voted in 2002 to adopt the DDPA at the General Assembly after the world conference.

They must be reminded that the DDPA is the core of the IDPAD. “Purpose of the Europe Region Coalition

The purpose of Europe Region Civil Society Coalition for UN International Decade for People of African Descent is to campaign for the full implementation of the DDPA and Programme of Activities of the Decade in accordance with the principles of Recognition, Justice and Development.

The Coalition invites People of African Descent, Pan Africanists, Africanists, social movements, non-state actors, civil society at large including individuals (experts), who stand by its principles to join and be included in its work.

The Coalition will seek to hold countries and all other stakeholders and actors responsible in implementing the Decade and for realisation of awareness of its roots and principles, for the adoption of national action plans and for the exchange good practices in the combatting of Afrophobia and for Reparatory Justice in general.

The mission statement and communication strategies are in a process of development.