Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
|The Working Group of People of African Descent (WGEPAD) prepared Operational Guidelines as a tool for UN Country Teams, Member States, financial and development institutions and all stakeholders to assist them to implement the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs with a specific focus on people of African descent.|
The Working Group provides compelling human rights arguments as to why there should be a specific focus on people of African descent as one of the population groups who face multiple and compounded forms of discrimination and should be prioritized to end inequalities and discrimination “leave no one behind” and “reach the furthest behind first”. They refer to international human rights law and available official and unofficial data including reference to WGEPAD reports and other studies.
The UN Working Group believes that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and its Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), adopted by Heads of State and Government at the United Nations Summit in September 2015 (A/RES/70/1), provides a vehicle to address the racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance that people of African descent face every day around the world.
In 2017 the Working Group reported to the Human Rights Council on their thematic session “Leaving no-one behind: people of African descent and the sustainable development goals” with recommendations. The Working Group urged Member States to make a genuine commitment to the standard of leaving no one behind by, inter alia, collecting inclusive and disaggregated data and devoting special attention to the human rights of people of African descent through the preparation of specific programmes of action, including social programmes for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent.
The Working Group has developed these Operational Guidelines on inclusion of People of African Descent in the 2030 agenda in accordance with international human rights obligations for the protection of the human rights of people of African descent. These guidelines are intended as a tool to assist all stakeholders in a human rights-based approach to implementation of the SDGs as they relate to Africans and people of African descent. They are also intended to assist the United Nations System and development partners to implement the International Decade for People of African Descent (PAD) and its programme of activities. The guidelines were field-tested in Ecuador and Peru in 2019-2020.
The Government of Guyana and all stakeholders in Guyana have agreed to apply the Operational Guidelines on the Inclusion of People of African Descent in in the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals…It means that African Guyanese have the right to apply the Concepts and Principles in our Communities. Many of us have been working night and day voluntarily, peacefully to get brothers and sisters to understand their Basic Human Rights…
Key principles: The implementation of these Operational Guidelines should be framed by the principles and objectives set forth by the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development 1 Para.7 Programme of Action Operational Guidelines on Inclusion of People of African Descent in the 2030 Agenda 1 under a human rights-based approach, the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the Objectives of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024, as well as applicable regional documents such as the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development.
The concrete implementation of these guidelines shall also be guided by the following non exhaustive and mutually reinforcing principles: Integration: These Operational Guidelines are to be used in support of the implementation of the framework documents mentioned above, as well as of other of importance for People of African Descent, such as the ICPD programme of Action and the Beijing Platform for Action, among others, as well as in support to national SDG planning and implementation processes.
These Guidelines are also produced to support the Leave No One Behind approach by relevant United Nations Country Teams, and in the set up and implementation of UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNSDCF). Meaningful participation: In the spirit of the motto “Nothing About Us, Without US”, the inclusion of People of African Descent in the 2030 agenda is directly linked to their ability to participate in relevant decision making and to play a meaningful role in agenda setting at the local, regional and international level, including through: 1) Increasing and expanding participation of Afro-descendent organizations and groups, 2) Informed participation, 3) Enabling environment free from violence and reprisals. Visibility through data: Data collection is related to identity in many and complex ways and needs to be promoted to fight invisibility.
Even when for historical reasons some countries have been reluctant to ethnic-oriented statistics, approaching this gap simultaneously from different viewpoints can help overcome these difficulties. More readily available disaggregated data, in national censuses, surveys and administrative data systems is a fundamental prerequisite for the operational implementation of these guidelines in development plans and sectoral policies on a cross-cutting basis. When quantitative data may not be available, the use of innovative approaches for data collection and analysis including qualitative data should be promoted, as well as the recording of communities-lived experiences through story-telling and other means, metadata etc.
People of African Descent should drive data processes as subjects and not as mere objects of study. States are encouraged to include data pertaining to People of African Descent in the follow-up and review of sustainable development goals and targets and corresponding global, regional and national indicators. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)/Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), People of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean: developing indicators to measure and counter inequalities (LC/TS.2019/62), Santiago, 2020 is a useful reference in this regard. Intersectionality: Structural discrimination and inequalities facing People of African Descent are complex and intersecting, touching upon different systems of oppression where race-based discrimination is aggravated by other prohibited grounds of discrimination under international human rights law, including gender, age, disability, social origin, nationality, sexual orientation and gender identity, marital and any other status.
Intersecting discrimination not only limits equal opportunities but also exacerbates unequal social and economic outcomes, thereby perpetuating systemic marginalization and exclusion of People of African Descent. Interventions should be grounded in an understanding of root causes of marginalization and exclusion, including how different forms of intersecting discrimination operate together. Stakeholders should mainstream a gender perspective when designing and monitoring interventions, taking into account the specific needs and realities of women and girls of African descent. Monitoring and accountability: Accountability is a cornerstone of racial justice.
The principle of accountability includes the notions of monitoring, review, and remedies, which can only operate in practice if people of African descent have effective access to accountability mechanisms. Building strong mechanisms for the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of these guidelines is essential, including strong coordination/integration with existing national, regional, and global mechanisms, Operational Guidelines on Inclusion of People of African Descent in the 2030 Agenda 2 and the creation of additional targeted ones as appropriate.
Implementing stakeholders are called to avail themselves of existing international monitoring processes, such as the Universal Periodic Review, Human Rights treaty bodies and the Voluntary National Review mechanism under the High-Level Political Forum. States are encouraged to empower National Human Rights Institutions to monitor progress in achieving racial justice and to investigate the violations of the rights of people of African Descent. In turn, Agencies, Funds and Programmes of the UN system are encouraged to develop the capacity of national accountability systems to ensure effective monitoring, review and remedies