Iraqis of African Descent participate in regional meeting on Decade for People of African Descent
02 November 2022
Baghdad – On 31 October/1 November 2022
UNAMI Human Rights Office supported the participation of 19 Iraqis of African descent in a two-day UN Regional meeting for the Middle East on the International Decade for People of African Descent.
The International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by General Assembly Resolution 68/237, runs from 2015 to 2024 and serves as a platform to emphasise the important contribution made by people of African descent to every society and promote concrete measures to end discrimination and promote inclusion.
The purpose of the UN Regional meeting was to raise awareness amongst participants on the programme of activities for the International Decade for People of African Descent in the Middle East region; strengthen national, regional and international cooperation and facilitate the exchange of good practices; and promote a greater knowledge of and respect for the historical and contemporary contributions of people of African descent in the Middle East region.
UNAMI facilitated the participation of 19 Iraqis of African descent (eight women and eleven men) online from Basra and Baghdad.
Discussions focused on the three themes of the International Decade for People of African Descent namely “recognition”, “justice” and “development”. Attendees, including State Delegates were also given the opportunity to address the meeting on the human rights situation of people of African descent in their respective countries, including measures taken to tackle the challenges identified.
Two of the Iraqis of African descent (one woman and one man) spoke on “Development Opportunities and Challenges in Accessing Development and Economic and Social Rights” and “Economic and Social Indicators”.
In its contribution, the Permanent Representation of the Government of Iraq to the UN emphasised the negative effects of racial discrimination on the enjoyment of human rights, the importance of tolerance in fostering peace and democracy, and reiterated Iraq’s commitment to uphold its international human rights obligations, including the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.