Report on the Global African Diaspora Summit
an article by Rev. Buddy A. Larrier
From 17-25 May, 2012 the African Union (AU) held the first Global African Diaspora Summit in Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa attended by representatives of approximately 100 Nation States. The conference consisted of the Heads of State Summit, the Ministerial Conference and the Civil Society Conference.
Photo by African Union
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I was privilege to have been invited by the AU to this historic assembly as a Civil Society delegate. For over 35 years now I have been active in the struggle for African Liberation and for African nations and people to take their rightful place in the political and economic affairs of the world. What follows below is my report on the proceedings.
The purpose of the conference was amongst other things to produce a declaration and programme of action towards the United States of Africa. The gathering was the culmination of 10 years of international dialog with Africans both on the continent and in the Diaspora to plan projects and programmes for the full liberation of African people.
During these international dialogs and at this conference reference were made to the major areas of human activities; i.e. Religion, Politics, Economics, Education, Law and Order, Human Sexuality, Gender Equality, War, Sports etc. and the impact that these are having on the global African family.
The past 500 plus years came under particular scrutiny because this was when the first Africans were forcefully taken from the continent to the Americas and used as slaves. This period had been the focus by the United Nations (UN) in a series of conferences beginning from 1973. At the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance which was also held in South Africa, Durban, the transatlantic trade in Africans, chattel enslavement and colonialism were all deemed crimes against humanity. This global conference welcomed the Durban declaration and programme of action (DDPA) from that 2001 conference which strengthens the resolved for justice, healing and reconciliation.
Delegates were of the view that this summit was the most significant of all conferences of African peoples. It provided representatives of the global African family with the ideal opportunity to draw up a programme of action, a Roadmap towards our full liberation at a time in history when people across the world are demanding change. The conference ended with delegates in very high spirits, as if they sensed that victory was finally within our grasp. . .
Personally, I am convinced that the outcome of this Global African Diaspora Summit of 2012 will have a tremendous impact on African peoples worldwide. . .
In addition, the UNís Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent has also produced a Declaration and Programme of Action for the Decade for People of African Descent 2013-2023. This document complements the Declaration of the Global African Diaspora Summit 25th May, 2012.
(This article is continued in the discussionboard)
Question(s) related to this article:
The African Diaspora, Does it make a special contribution to the culture of peace?
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Latest reader comment:
The article, Tribute to Ancestors by Rev. Elder Buddy Larrier, reminds us of people of African descent who have made a special contribution to a culture of peace, including Marcus Masiah Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman. †As he indicates, a full list would be much longer.
Sometimes in the course of history, an oppressed people later becomes the oppressor, but that has never been the case for the peoples of Africa who were transported in chains to the New World and enslaved to create what is now the wealthiest part of the world. †Instead, they have provided us some of the best lessons of non-violent resistance and struggles for human rights and dignity.
In another article, Report on the Global African Diaspora Summit, Larrier reminds us that this is not just an historical fact, but that the African diaspora is a potential force for the future transformation to a culture of peace.