The International Day for People of African Descent will be celebrated for the first time on 31 August 2021, and Zimbabwe joins the world mark the day.
Through this Observance the United Nations aims to promote the extraordinary contributions of the African diaspora around the world and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.
International days reflect the values that society shares. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies.
Any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust, and dangerous and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races.
The United Nations strongly condemns the continuing violent practices and excessive use of force by law enforcement agencies against Africans and people of African descent and condemns structural racism in criminal justice systems around the world.
The Organization further acknowledges the Transatlantic Slave Trade as one of the darkest chapters in our human history and upholds human dignity and equality for the victims of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism, in particular people of African descent in the African diaspora.
Background, the year 2020 marked the midterm of the International Decade for People of African Descent.
While some progress has been made at legislative, policy and institutional levels, people of African descent continue to suffer intersectional and compounded forms of racial discrimination, marginalization, and exclusion.
Five years into the Decade, the COVID-19 pandemic shed light on the urgency to address long standing structural inequalities and systematic racism in health.
The lack of recognition remains one of the major barriers impeding the full and effective enjoyment of human rights by people of African descent.
The year 2020 also marked a turning point in the way these issues are being addressed at international and national levels.
The murder of George Floyd followed galvanized people to protest racism and racial discrimination and prompted important global discussions on racial justice.
On 19 June 2020, the Human Rights Council adopted the resolution on the “Promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers”.
Pursuant to this resolution, the High Commissioner for Human Rights presented to the Human Rights Council at its 47th session her agenda towards transformative change for racial justice and equality. -UN