The UN General Assembly proclaimed 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent (resolution 68/237) citing the need to strengthen national, regional and international cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent, and their full and equal participation in all aspects of society.
As proclaimed by the General Assembly, the theme for the International Decade is “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.”
The main objectives of the International Decade are as follows:
The Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent, which was endorsed by the General Assembly, is to be implemented at several levels.
At the national level, states should take concrete and practical steps through the adoption and effective implementation of national and international legal frameworks, policies and programmes to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance faced by people of African descent, taking into account the particular situation of women, girls and young males in the following areas:
At the regional and International levels, the international community and international and regional organizations are called, among other things, to raise awareness, disseminate the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, assist states in the full and effective implementation of their commitments under the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, collect statistical data, incorporate human rights into development programmes and honour and preserve historical memory of people of African descent.
There are also a number of steps and measures to be taken by the United Nations General Assembly, including the appointment of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to act as coordinator of the Decade, the establishment of a forum to serve as a consultation mechanism, convening of a final assessment of the Decade, and ensuring the completion of the construction and the inauguration, before the mid-term review in 2020, of a permanent memorial at UN Headquarters to honour the memory of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.