The United Nations General Assembly has decided, through a resolution, to establish a permanent body called the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent. This comes close to the 20th anniversary of the World Conference against Racism that was held in 2001 at Durban, South Africa.
The purpose of the Forum would be to provide advice for combating at combating racism, intolerance, xenophobia, etc. The Forum, which would also act as an advisor to the Human Rights Council, would contribute towards the social inclusion of the people of African Descent. It would consist of 10 members, half of whom would be appointed by the General Assembly and half would be appointed by the Human Rights Council. The Forum will also work towards ensuring the safety of the people of African descent and will strive for improving the quality of their lives and livelihoods. The first session Permanent Forum of People of African Descent will take place in 2022. The resolution, which was drafted for the creation of this Forum, was passed unanimously by the 193-member United Nations body. Several member states welcomed this move and termed it historic. The Forum will also contribute towards the preparation of a United Nations declaration on safeguarding the rights of the people of African descent. Moreover, the Forum will work towards the protection of the human rights of these people in the countries and societies in which they live.
The United Nations has launched several other initiatives in the past too which were aimed at safeguarding and promoting the interests of the people of African descent. Durban Declaration and Programme of Action resulted in the safeguard and promotion of the interests and rights of the people of African descent. International Decade for People of African Descent, which was launched in 2014, is being celebrated by the United Nations General Assembly. However, this is the first time that the UN has decided to establish a permanent body that would be responsible to work for the welfare of the people of the African community. Moreover, as per the resolution passes by the General Assembly, the Forum has been provided a mandate to identify the challenges and opportunities for handling the issues provided in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
While the establishment of the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent is a welcoming step, the member states of the United Nations must take further steps for the upliftment of the people of African descent. The recent Black Lives Matter protests highlighted the prevalence of racial discrimination across various countries. The United Nations must encourage people of African descent to become politically active and to contest for political posts. The presence of African people in higher political positions will provide them with greater opportunities to fight for their rights and to raise their grievances if any injustice is done to them. Furthermore, the fact that no African country is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council highlights the need for reforms in the United Nations itself.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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