REPARATIONS AND THE UNITED NATIONS
WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM
By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (February 8, 2001)
The December 12th Movement International Secretariat, based in Brooklyn, New York under the leadership of Sister Viola Plummer, over the last fifteen years, as an independent official African in America Non Governmental Organization (NGO) to the United Nations, has become one of the most knowledgeable organizations on the inner workings of the United Nations in terms of raising the critical issues impacting on African people and particularly African people in America.
In this regard, the National Black United Front (NBUF) has joined ranks with the December 12th Movement in organizing a significant delegation of African people in America to attend and participate in the upcoming United Nations World Conference Against Racism that will be held in Durban, South Africa, August 31st through September 7th of this year.
One of the major reasons NBUF decided to join ranks with the December 12th Movement, in organizing our participation in this historic conference, is to support the resolution put forward by the Africa Group during the Commission on Human Rights meeting held in Geneva in the spring of 1998 that declared the TransAtlantic Slave Trade was a CRIME Against Humanity!
It is our position that this resolution provides the greatest rationale for African people to continue to demand reparations throughout the world.
A most profound event in the history of African people recently occurred at the African Regional Conference for the World Conference Against Racism, Racial and Ethnic Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance held in Dakar, Senegal, January 15th through January 24th.
The conference consisted of a series of meetings that included the Informal Government Meeting in Geneva, January 15th16th, and the Africa Prep Com Meeting for NGOs in Dakar, January 22nd24th.
The major outcome of these series of meetings was the drafting of what is being called the "Dakar Declaration" which represents for the first time that African nations called for an international tribunal that will determine the magnitude and compensation of reparations to Africa resulting from slavery, colonialism, and white supremacy.
Specifically, the declaration called for the "recognition that the slave trade, slavery and colonialism inflicted on the African Continent and the Diaspora constitute crimes against humanity."
Additionally, the declaration called for "the right of African peoples of the continent and in the Diaspora, to just and fair compensatory measures which include repatriation, apologies, and pledges of nonrepetition of outrages suffered by Africans, regardless of who the perpetrators were and call for international cooperation in the achievement of these goals."
The December 12th Movement should be congratulated for their steadfast role in helping to expose to the African Community in America, over the past three years, of the resolution coming out of the Africa Group in 1998, declaring the TransAtlantic Slave Trade was a Crime Against Humanity.
This resolution has now become an official position of the Dakar Declaration, which provides another vehicle for African people to organize around, as we continue to prepare to attend and participate in the United Nations World Conference Against Racism.
Many people continue to ask us numerous questions about why we are attending the United Nations World Conference Against Racism. The December 12th Movement has provided the most succinct answers:
|When?||August 31, 2001 through September 7, 2001|
|Where?||Durban, South Africa|
|Why?||Malcolm X stated: "We (African people) must put our struggle in the international arena. We must start talking human rights, not civil rights." For African people, this World Conference is our platform to highlight the issue of the historical and continued denial of our human rights.|
|What it is?||The United Nations World Conference Against Racial Discrimination (WCARD) will be a historic gathering of the member countries of the United Nations. The WCARD will make findings of fact, pass resolutions, and develop a plan of action to address the eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerances.|
Crucial Issues For Us
Role of NGOs
NonGovernmental Organizations (NGO) are local, national, and international groups which play a key role at World Conferences. Their lobbying and participation can assure the passage of resolutions and plans of action to accomplish our goals.
How you can participate!
National Black United Front (NBUF)
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