United Nations Honors First International Day For People Of African Descent

Pan African Flag

Photo: Getty Images

The United Nations has been around for nearly 80 years, but it had never established a day honoring people of African descent. Fortunately, that has changed this month. On August 31, the United Nations celebrated the first-ever International Day For People Of African Descent. In a statement, the human rights organization explained that the celebration "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."

The United Nations made the decision to celebrate this holiday after a string of police killings that occurred in 2020 and early 2021. In response, the Human Rights Council put forth a resolution regarding the “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." Adding on, High Commissioner for Human Rights presented a plan to address racial inequality during the 47th session of the Human Rights Council.

Ultimately, the date of August 31 was selected because of its significance within pan African history. On August 31, 1920, the first International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World ended in New York. This convention led Marcus Garvey and others to develop the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World.

"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," a statement from the United Nations reads.

"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."

Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content