|African And African Descendant Follow-Up To The
U.N. World Conference Against Racism
A Call To the Barbados Conference
9th -13th August 2002
After two intense years of mobilizing, meeting, brainstorming,
discussing, lobbying, agitating and negotiating we now have a Durban
Declaration and Programme Of Action, which has been officially agreed to
and accepted by 168 nation states.
This represents a significant achievement for all
"Non-Governmental Organizations" that were members of the
"African And African Descendants Caucus"!
Even though we were unable to secure acceptance of all of our
demands by this eclectic gathering of 168 governments, we can feel
extremely satisfied that we were able to play a very significant role in
ensuring that many declarations of principle and concrete demands and
project proposals that are of fundamental importance to the nations and
peoples of Africa and the African Diaspora found a place in the
"Durban Declaration And Programme Of Action".
The critical question for all of us now is - "where do we
go from here?"
Clearly, we cannot behave as though our task has been completed
and adopt the posture of sitting back and waiting for the various
governments and international organizations to implement the Durban
Declaration And Programme Of Action.
To begin with, many of the measures called for in the Programme of
Action require concrete work and involvement by the N.G.O's of Africa
and the African Diaspora. Furthermore, it was always our understanding
that any meaningful follow-up to the "World Conference Against
Racism" would require the establishment of a very active and
determined "African and African Descendant" N.G.O. lobby to
keep the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action before the eyes and
conscience of the world, and to push the governments and international
community to implement the various demands, measures and projects that
they agreed to in Durban.
There were some 41 Caucuses representing the 168 nation states. The
Caribbean caucus, which includes Barbados, accepted the proposal for an
immediate follow-up to Durban. It is with this understanding of our duty
therefore that the Congress Against Racism (Barbados) Inc., (formerly
the Barbados N.G.O Committee For The U.N. World
Conference Against Racism) on behalf of the Caribbean Caucus hereby
sends out a call to all member organizations of the "African And
African descendants Caucus" and to all other African and African
Descendant N.G.O's that share our commitment to the Durban Declaration
And Programme Of Action, to attend an "African And African
Descendant N.G.O. Follow-up Conference" in the Island of Barbados
between Friday 9th and Wednesday 13th August 2002.
The purpose of this 5-day conference will be as follows: -
(1) To scrutinize the Durban Declaration and Programme of
Action and to identify and prioritize those demands, measures and proposed projects
that are of critical importance to the nations, communities and people
of Africa and the African Diaspora;
(2) To work out and agree upon detailed strategies that is
achieve the implementation of such demands, measures and proposed
(3) To establish and launch a permanent global Pan-African N.G.O.
organization, the mandate of which will be to pursue and
the agreed upon implementation strategies.
The conference will be held at the "Sherbourne Conference Centre",
located at Two Mile Hill, St. Michael, Barbados.
With the support and financial assistance of the Barbados
Government's "Commission For Pan African Affairs", we have
been able to secure the rental of this international quality conference
facility, and to guarantee the provision of translation services in
English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Conference participants would be expected to finance their airline
passages to Barbados, and their accommodation in Barbados. However, our
Conference Organizing Committee will be arranging special discounted
airline and hotel rates. There will also be a modest conference
A Conference Secretariat has been established in Bridgetown, the
capital city of Barbados, and is currently working on finalizing these
and other details relating to the conference. The relevant contact
information for the conference secretariat is as follows: -
Congress Against Racism (Barbados) Inc.
Pan-African Conference Secretariat
2nd Floor Thomas Daniel Building
Tel: (246) 228-8757/8/9
Fax: (246) 228-8817
Although our Congress Against Racism (Barbados) Inc. has taken the
initiative to initiate this follow-up conference, we do recognize that
the central coordinating mechanism of the conference must provide for
input from the various geographical regions of the "Pan African
To this end, we are currently working on putting together a
"Central Organizing Committee" of the conference that will
consist of five highly respected Pan Africanists, who are generally
representative of the various regions of the Pan African World.
Of course, the only role of the "Central Organizing
Committee" will be to handle the arrangements for and the logistics
of the Conference. The Conference participants will themselves determine
the nature of the new organization and its leadership.
In addition to the "Central Organizing Committee", we are
in the process of identifying "Regional Coordinators" to
assist us in spreading the word about the conference and mobilizing
N.G.O's in every region of the Pan African World to participate in the
conference. Such "Regional Coordinators" will represent the
following geographical regions: -
|a) West Africa
b) East Africa
c) Southern Africa
d) North Africa
h) Central America
i) South America
We will be asking each "Regional Coordinator" to stage
"regional encounters" that will bring together the African and
African Descendant N.G.O's of their region to engage in preliminary and
preparatory discussions on the matters which will be dealt with at our
August 2002 Conference. These "regional encounters" may take
several different forms, including meetings, conferences, video or
Internet conferences etc. It may also be possible in some cases, for two
regional encounters to be amalgamated and held jointly.
We are proposing that the August 2002 Conference and the
"Regional Encounters" be structured around the following seven
(7) themes: -
(1) Reparations For The Nations, Communities And People
Of Africa And
The African Diaspora
(2) A Response To Globalization And Its Negative Impact On
Africa And The African Diaspora
(3) National And International Affirmative Action And Special
Developmental Programmes For The Nations, Communities And People of
Africa And The African Diaspora
(4) A Response To The Public Health Crisis Facing Africa And The
(5) Reform Of Judicial, Penal And Police Systems And The Provision
Remedies For African And African Descendant Victims Of Racism
(6) Memorializing The African Holocaust And Telling The African
(7) The Development Of National And International Oversight And
Enforcement Measures, Structures And Programmes
It must be stressed again that the idea is not to discuss these
themes all over again in Barbados! These themes were already discussed
in Durban and during the Durban preparatory process. The idea is to
identify relevant demands, measures and project proposals contained in
the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action that relate to these
themes, and to discuss and outline detailed strategies that we will
collectively pursue in order to secure the implementation of such
demands, measures and projects.
The "Congress Against Racism (Barbados) Inc." envisions
that we will also use the follow-up Conference to establish a global Pan
African N.G.O organization or "Coalition" that will have
regional chapters corresponding to the several geographical regions of
the "Pan African World".
We have given some thought as to how this new organization
could be structured and have come up with the following ideas:-
(a) The members of this global Pan African
organization or "Coalition"should be our individual African and African Descendant N.G.O's.
(b) The member organizations of each "Regional
Chapter" could be
divided into seven (7) sub-committees, corresponding to the seven (7)
themes outlined above, and each of these "Regional
will elect a Chairman. The Chairmen of the seven (7) thematic
"Regional Sub-Committees" could in turn come together to
"Regional Coordinating Council", and each "Regional
Council" could elect its own Chairman.
(c) There could also be a "global" coming together of
the Chairmen of the
Regional "Thematic" Sub-Committees. Thus, in the sphere of
"Reparations" for example - each region would have a
dealing with "Reparations"; each such
would have a chairman; and the Chairmen of the Regional Reparations
Sub-Committees would come together to form a "Global Reparations
(d) The Global Governing Council of the entire organization would
comprise the Chairmen of the Regional Coordinating Councils.
We are also proposing that a suitable name for the new organization
would be - the "Congress Of African And African Descendant
These then are the initial ideas and proposals that we are
putting out for discussion and feedback.
We are now in the process of setting up a Conference website as
a vehicle for promoting the Conference and discussing and refining the
ideas that we have put forward.
In the meantime however, please do contact us at the addresses
outlined above so that we could make full use of the very limited time
at our disposal.
CONGRESS AGAINST RACISM (BARBADOS) INC.
Thomas Daniel Building, Hinck Street. Bridgetown. Barbados
Tel: 246-228-8757. Fax: 246-228-8817. E:mail:email@example.com
Rev. Aaron B. Larrier
Congress Against Racism (Barbados) Inc.