Permanent Forum of People of African Descent: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) approved a resolution on August 2, 2021, establishing a Permanent Forum of People of African Descent.
- The permanent forum of people will provide expert advice on addressing the challenges of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.
- The resolution was adopted by consensus by the 193-member world body.
- The resolution also calls for the forum to serve as a platform for improving the safety and quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent and their full inclusion in the societies where they live.
- The new body’s creation comes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the controversial September 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism that was held in Durban, South Africa.
- The conference was dominated by clashes over the Middle East and the legacy of slavery.
The forum’s establishment has come during the International Decade for People of African Descent which was established by the General Assembly that began on January 1, 2015.
It will end on December 31, 2024.
It is focusing on the themes of recognition, justice and development.
Mandates of new Forum:
- The Permanent Forum of People of African Descent was given a series of mandates.
- The mandates include the following:
- Helping to ensure “the full political, economic and social inclusion of people of African descent”
- Providing expert advice and recommendations on addressing racism to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, the General Assembly’s main committees and UN agencies.
It calls for the forum’s first session to take place in 2022.
It also calls for annual reports to the assembly and the council on the forum’s activities, and an evaluation of its operation by the General Assembly after four sessions, based on an evaluation by the Human Rights Council.
Members of Forum:
- The new forum will comprise 10 members.
- Out of the 10 members 5 will be elected by General Assembly from all regions and 5 will be appointed by Human Rights Council in consultations with regional groups as well as organizations of people of African descent.