L-R: Ketcia Peters, Hon Jean Augustine and César Ndema-Moussa at the UN summit in Geneva

Thursday 2 May 2024

Second International Decade for People of African DescentRepresenting nations from every region of the planet

by Ketcia Peters

As we gathered in Geneva on April 16-19, 2024, at the United National General Assembly, we faced a tremendous opportunity: the chance to reaffirm our everlasting commitment to justice, equality, and human dignity.

The Second International Decade for People of African Descent summit gives each of us the possibility to truly put under serious scrutiny the systemic racism and historic injustices that still plague our societies.

This occasion urged us to address the deep-rooted inequalities that are yet real and yet present in our nations. And it prompted us to chart a different path. A path where reparatory justice isn’t a flight of fancy, but an actual ideal to accomplish.

In our discussions on reparations, sustainable development, and economic justice, we ought to recognize that the legacies of slavery, colonialism, and discrimination have left everlasting wounds on communities of African descent around the world.

Now, it is our collective duty to acknowledge these injustices and take substantial action, if not to redeem our very selves, to redress them.

And, if we are good and brave enough, try to heal those wounds.

Education, merely to exemplify, stands as one of the cornerstones of our efforts to overcome systemic racism and historic harm.

We should secure every child access to quality education that affirms their identity, celebrates their culture, and equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.

So, while undertaking these discussions, we should confront the challenges ahead with courage and determination.

We should set high expectations for ourselves.

We should hold ourselves accountable for any progress or setback.

While too acknowledging the many many obstacles, and the many many barriers that stand in our way, still.

Let us remember, as we each take turns speaking in this sacred hall of diplomacy, that the words we utter at the UN, and the work we did there, are not just for the present generation, but are essential for generations to come.

Let us seize this moment to build a future where every person, regardless of their ethnicity, can live with dignity, equality, and justice.