Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue with - Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

26 September 2017

Mr. President,

EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice welcomes the report of the Working Group from the Nineteenth and Twentieth sessions.

While we agree that the Sustainable Development Goals address intersectional racial discrimination on People of African Descent and can help eliminate such discrimination we also agree that the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action is vital in terms of addressing adequate guidelines and recommendations for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination. The DDPA also rightly takes into consideration colonialism and acknowledges the adverse after-effects it has had on Africans and People of African Descent.

Historic injustices have contributed to various forms of poverty and persist in putting up barriers and obstacles towards the full enjoyment of human rights and the right to development. Without addressing and acknowledging these negative impacts the Sustainable Development Goals will remain a far-fetched objective for People of African Descent. Therefore, policies and best practices as underlined in the DDPA must be addressed and full engagement with local communities must be pursued.

As well, structural barriers and structural racism and practices have to be eliminated at all levels in order to achieve sustainable development. Currently, states from all regions of the world still have political and legal structures that are rooted in discrimination and exclusion thus we ask the working group if these restrictions will be thoroughly addressed and scrutinized and what immediate measures can states and members of civil society take to eradicate these restrictions. Finally, how can the SDGs and the DDPA be fully implemented in tandem at the governmental and political level?

Thank you.

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