ACCRA (CU)_The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently convened a high-level diaspora forum in the capital city of Ghana. The meeting was aimed at advocating for the recognition of the contributions made by the people of African descent towards the development of societies across the globe.
The forum, titled The Return Mission, had several distinguished guests in attendance, including UN Under-Secretary General and the Executive Director of the UNFPA, Natalia Kamen, together with the Vice Presidents of Ghana and Costa Rica. The initiative was a part of the United Nations’ efforts to advance the rights of people of African descent.
Back in December 2013, the UN General Assembly issued a declaration under the theme “People of African descent: recognition, justice, and development.” It declared the period between 2015 and 2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent, calling on the global community to recognize the need to distinctively promote and protect the human rights of the people of African descent.
“Gathering here in Accra, as Africans and Afro descendants, we are reminded of our unbreakable bond. We share the same roots, the same present and a common future to which each and every one of us must contribute for all of us to flourish,” Under-Secretary General Kamen, who is also of African descent, said in her address. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen cooperation for our collective progress and to promote equity, healing and social justice for our communities across the globe.”
For her part, Vice President Epsy Campbell Barr highlighted the significance of realizing the dream of Jamaican-American intellectual Marcus Garvey, of a global union of Black people. “Africans have been victims of systemic historical racism and exclusion, and it is time to fulfil the promise of recognition, justice, and development,” she said. “We must join forces as a single continent and advance policies that strengthen the relationship and ties between Africa and the diaspora,” the Costa Rican Vice President said.
The African Union has also acknowledged the critical role played by the African diaspora in the region’s development. The continental union has declared the African Diaspora as its sixth region, alongside North, South, East, West and Central Africa.