'We are trying to get as many organizations as possible to sign onto this appeal letter by Thursday, October 20th,' writes Kali Akuno. Please email all endorsements to kakuno[AT]ushrnetwork.org.
Peoples' and Civil Society letter to the United Nations Member States calling for the UN General Assembly to declare 2012-2022 as the International Decade for People of African Descent.
The undersigned peoples and civil society organisations, including those representing People of African Descent, wish to express their appreciation to the UN member states who introduced and cooperated in the process of adopting the decision to commemorate 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent.
We recognize that the International Year for People of African Descent with the widely accepted theme of "People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice and Development" has brought important international attention to the plight of People of African Descent suffering from centuries of racism and denial of human rights. Yet its purpose can not and has not been accomplished in one year.
We now call on the United Nations General Assembly to declare 2012 to 2022 as the International Decade for People of African Descent with the theme "People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice, Development".
As the call for the UN to declare an International Year for People of African Descent originated from the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent set up to promote the rights for People of African Descent contained in the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) we find it mandatory that the General Assembly place the adoption of the International Decade within the agenda item and framework of the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
We insist on the General Assembly at this session to officially adopt "People of African Descent: recognition, Justice, Development" as the theme of the Decade. The theme, originating from non-governmental organisations (NGO's) and proposed by the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent became widely accepted during the International Year and officially adopted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as its theme for its activities during the International Year.
We furthermore call for the International Decade to be developed with the full involvement of People of African Descent and supported by Civil Society and that a fully funded Programme of Activities should be adopted next year by the General Assembly taking account of proposals from the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, People of African Descent and Civil Society organisations.