Published Friday, December 18, 2020
U.N. declares International Day
for People of African Descent
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution presented by Costa Rica and co-sponsored by 52 countries, to proclaim Aug. 31 as the International Day for People of African Descent.
According to Vice-President Epsy Campbell Barr, the international day aims to recognize the contributions of people of African descent around the world, and their struggles to combat all forms of racism and racial discrimination.
In August 1920, the First International Convention of the Black Peoples of the World was held in New York and as a result of the discussions, led by Marcus Garvey with thousands of delegates from different countries, the “Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World” was adopted.
"This declaration was one of the most notable of the 20th century by making explicit the rights to racial justice, equality before the law, the right to self-determination, freedom of the press, freedom of religious worship, the right to unlimited education, as well as the right to peace, long before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Vice President Campbell said.
“This proposal presented by Costa Rica and which has obtained the support of the U.N. General Assembly seeks to do justice to the struggles, hopes and resistance of Afro-descendants around the world, bringing to light this milestone in a context of growing mobilization for racial justice, equality and non-discrimination,” she added.
The resolution adopted this week had to go through the approval of the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.
In November, the Inter-American Network of High Authorities on Policies for Afro-descendant Populations of the Organization of American States had urged U.N. member states to strongly support Costa Rica’s proposal to celebrate for the first time in 2021 on the International Day for People of African Descent.
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