My parting shot for the night (thanks to the Afro Europe blog for the reminder)…
Almost a year ago, 2011 was declared by the United Nations as the International Year For People of African Descent; the goal being to recognize people around the world who identify themselves as being of African descent as “a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected,” and to promote greater knowledge and awareness of the challenges faced by people of African descent all over the world, as well as highlight the important contributions made by people of African descent in all aspects of society.
Further, the year was to be dedicated to increasing global efforts to fight racism, racial discrimination, and other forms of intolerance that affect people of African descent everywhere.
The year is now at its end, as acknowledged by the UN who officially closed out the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent, with what they called “a high-level thematic debate” looking back on the year, and on just how successful they were in achieving the goals and objectives set forth at the beginning of the year, as I outlined above.
The near-3 hour session was convened by the Secretary-General last week, December 6th, 2011, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, where they took stock of the “initiatives and activities that were undertaken by Member States, United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations, as well as civil society, including Non-governmental organizations and organizations of people of African descent” during the course of the year.
And so what was the verdict? How did the UN grade the year and itself? Well… as you’ll see in the video below, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Ain’t nothing really changed where I live (the USA). What about where you are, wherever that might be in the world?
To its credit, the UN did say that this year-long initiative wasn’t an end in itself, but a way to inspire conversation on the issues it sought to address, and then bring about action – or at least, the beginnings of it, which would continue from henceforth, until each goal is fully achieved.
To be honest, I initially thought the entire thing was a joke.
But it’s the thought that counts right?
The near-3-hour long closing discussions/”high-level thematic debate” of the International Year For People of African Descent was videotaped, and you can watch/listen to the entire thing below (I’m listening to it right now as I type this)