Permanent Forum on People of African descent

Background

On 2 August 2021, the General Assembly adopted it resolution 75/314 which formally operationalized the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, as "a consultative mechanism for people of African descent and other relevant stakeholders as a platform for improving the safety and quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent, as well as an advisory body to the Human Rights Council, in line with the programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent and in close coordination with existing mechanisms".

The United Nations General Assembly had earlier decided, in its resolution 69/16 of 18 November 2014 entitled Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent to establish such a body.

The modalities, format and substantive and procedural aspects of the Permanent Forum are described in the General Assembly resolution 75/314. Specifically, the Permanent Forum has the following mandate:

  • To contribute to the full political, economic and social inclusion of people of African descent in the societies in which they live as equal citizens without discrimination of any kind and contribute to ensuring equal enjoyment of all human rights;
  • To provide, in coordination with existing mechanisms, expert advice and recommendations to the Human Rights Council, the Main Committees of the General Assembly and organs, programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations aimed at addressing challenges of all the scourges of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and all their contemporary forms and manifestations confronted by people of African descent and that impede the full and effective realization and enjoyment of all their human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • To consider the elaboration of a United Nations declaration on the promotion, protection and full respect of the human rights of people of African descent;
  • To identify and analyse best practices, challenges, opportunities and initiatives to address, as appropriate, the issues highlighted in the provisions of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action relevant to people of African descent;
  • To monitor and review progress on the effective implementation of the programme of activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent, and to this end gather relevant information from Governments, United Nations bodies and organs, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and other relevant sources;
  • To request the preparation and dissemination of information by the United Nations system on issues relating to people of African descent and promote a greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent to the development of societies;
  • To raise awareness and promote integration and coordination of activities of agencies, funds and programmes relating to people of African descent within the United Nations system;
  • To support the coordination of programmes aimed at the socioeconomic development of communities and people of African descent, and to examine the urgent global need to establish adequate channels to obtain data disaggregated by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographical location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts, to enable the systematic design and collection of and access to high-quality, reliable and timely disaggregated data and gender statistics, conducive to the better execution of public policies in relation to people of African descent;
  • To offer advice and recommendations on matters concerning the protection, promotion and respect of all human rights of people of African descent, and to undertake any specific task as requested by the Human Rights Council or the General Assembly.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had been working to create a permanent Forum on People of African Descent since November 2014, when it was mandated to do so through the UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/69/16 entitled “Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent”.

Pursuant to A/RES/69/16, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights invited in March 2015 interested stakeholders, individuals, groups and organizations to submit information on their vision for the new forum on people of African descent. All submissions received were transmitted to Member States.

Between 2015 and 2018, successive resolutions from the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/RES/30/17 and A/HRC/34/33) and the General Assembly (A/RES/73/262) spelled out some of the modalities of the Permanent Forum. On 10 May 2019, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/73/262, OHCHR organized with the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica in Geneva a one-day consultation on the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent. It attracted over 200 participants, including representatives from governments, UN mechanisms, bodies and specialized agencies, civil society and people of African descent from all regions. Download the Chairperson's Report of the one-day consultation on the Permanent Forum on people of African descent (A/PFPAD/2019/1)

Virtual informal consultation with Member States and Civil Society

Friday 9 April 2021, 10:00-13:00 (Eastern Standard Time)

Please find below invitation letters from the co-facilitators of the intergovernmental process to define the modalities, format, and the substantive and procedural aspects of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (Letters to Member States / Civil Society)

The purpose of the event is to allow Member States and civil society organizations to mutually convey their concepts regarding the draft outline on the main aspects of the Permanent Forum on people of African descent, including its mandate, substantive objectives, procedural aspects, structure, format and reporting modalities. The co-facilitators' aim is to stimulate contributions from stakeholders and motivate their engagement notwithstanding the tight schedule. The co-facilitators deem all previous efforts and engagement have so far borne positive fruit and the process has sufficiently developed to move to the next phase. Accordingly, the co-facilitators wish to submit the outcome of this process to the President of the General Assembly before the debate on the midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent.

Concept Note, registration and technical provisions

Please find the link to the concept note explaining steps to be followed for pre- registration and registration, as well as technical requirements to be observed. The event will adopt a virtual modality. Speakers, participants and attendants are required to pre-register to be allowed access the internet-based platform Interprefy. The deadline pre-registration is 7 April (9 am Eastern Standard Time).

Civil society organizations interested delivering statements should follow the procedures outlined in the concept note. For pre-registration, speakers from civil society are requested to provide their full names, the name and address of the organization represented, and send to the following email address: decadepadgeneva@ohchr.org.

Member States and Observers wishing to take the floor during the meeting are kindly requested to send an e-mail to the General Assembly Affairs Branch (e-mail: galindo@un.org)

Participants intending to deliver statements should make their statements available in advance by Wednesday 7 April at the respective email addresses above to facilitate interpretation

For all interested stakeholders, the event will also be webcasted live on UN Web TV in 6 official UN languages on Friday 9 April 2021.

Call for Submissions from Co-facilitators

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 75/237 of 31 December 2020, entitled, "A global call for concrete action for the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action", the President of the General Assembly has appointed H.E. Ms. Ammo Aziza Baroud, Permanent Representative of Chad to the United Nations in New York and H.E. Mr. Rodrigo Alberto Carazo Zeledón, Permanent Representative of Costa-Rica to the United Nations in New York as co-facilitators of the intergovernmental process to define the modalities, format, and the substantive and procedural aspects of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent.

The co-facilitators are calling for inputs from all civil society stakeholders, including representatives of people of African descent, to share their written advice or preliminary views on the modalities, format, and the substantive and procedural aspects of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent. Click here for more details on the call for inputs.

The inputs can be sent to: decadepadgeneva@ohchr.org
Deadline for inputs: 6 April 2021

Background

In November 2014, the United Nations General Assembly decided, in the resolution A/RES/69/16 entitled Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent, "to establish a forum to serve as a consultation mechanism... that would ensure the inclusive participation of all States Members of the United Nations, United Nations funds and programmes, specialized agencies, civil society organizations of people of African descent and all other relevant stakeholders".

In December 2018, the UN General Assembly decided, in resolution A/RES/73/262, "to establish a permanent forum on people of African descent, which will:

  • Serve as a consultation mechanism for people of African descent and other interested stakeholders as a platform for improving the quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent, and
  • Contribute to elaborating a United Nations declaration, which is the first step towards a legally binding instrument, on the promotion and full respect of human rights of people of African descent.

The modalities, format and substantive and procedural aspects of the permanent forum will be concluded by Member States and observer States, with further consultations with people of African descent."

2019 Consultation on the permanent forum on people of African descent

In May 2019, OHCHR held a one-day Consultation on the permanent forum on people of African descent, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/73/262. The Consultation focused on "the modalities, format and substantive and procedural aspects of the permanent forum".

Information note
Registration for participants
Programme of work

Submissions from civil society

OHCHR had held a similar consultation in 2015. The compilation of submissions is available here. All submissions received were transmitted to Member States.