The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ten-point compensation plan has received support from delegates at the inaugural United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent in Geneva, urging for its adoption globally.
Gaynel and Bahamian One of the five experts chosen earlier this year to serve on the Permanent Forum of the United Nations on People of African Descent, Diana Curry, outlined the priorities for CARICOM, including reparatory justice, climate justice, systemic racism, and socioeconomic opportunities, faced by vulnerable and marginalised groups of people of African Descent, particularly women, children, migrants, and LGBTQI persons. She also touched on systemic racism and socioeconomic opportunities.
Barbados Ambassador and Permanent Representative-Designate to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO), Matthew Wilson, said, ‘what we have collectively launched today is for our ancestors and for our descendants still to come. It is brave. It is necessary. It is a long time coming.’
“In the Caribbean there was a long history of advocating, articulating, and agitating around issues of racism and the injustices inherent in post-colonial societies. In CARICOM these issues have been placed very high on its agenda, with the prime ministerial sub-agenda on reparations being chaired by Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, with its core members, Guyana, Haiti, St. Vincent, and Suriname”.
According to the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), European governments traded in and owned enslaved Africans, ordered the genocide of indigenous peoples, and established the legal, financial, and fiscal frameworks required for the enslavement of Africans.
After holding the position as a member of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (WGEPAD) from 2010 to 2015 and then as Chair from 2012 to 2014, during which time she assisted in drafting the Programme of Activities for the UN’s International Decade for People of Africa, Professor Verene Shepherd, the Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), expressed her happiness that the forum had been established.
She expressed hope that the Durban declaration’s unmet provisions for ongoing action with regard to the pursuit of reparatory justice will be implemented, drawing inspiration from the Pan Africanist Marcus Garvey.