Permanent Forum of Afro-descendants UN

Costa Rica, a Key Facilitator in The United Nations’ Creation of Permanent Forum for Afro-Descendants

The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus this Monday, a resolution to install a consultative mechanism, which will also serve as an advisory body to the Human Rights Council. Its main functions will be to contribute to the full political, economic and social inclusion of people of African descent and to provide specialized advice to the organs, programs, funds and agencies of the UN.


Afro Caribbean Culture. Photo Source: Tico Travel.


The Permanent Forum will be made up of ten members: five appointed by the Governments, on the basis of equitable geographical distribution and elected by the General Assembly; and five others appointed by the Presidency of the Human Rights Council.

“This space will allow an articulated work between the States, the architecture of the United Nations and people of African descent, to build truly inclusive, diverse, peaceful and just societies,” said the Vice President of the Costa Rican Republic, Epsy Campbell.


The Costa Rican vice president was one of the most prominent voices at a meeting to review the situation of Afro-descendant communities, in which she denounced how even today “systemic racism” is a global reality that requires immediate action. Source: Rio Times.


Under the leadership of Costa Rica, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted by consensus on Monday a resolution to establish the Permanent Forum of Afro-descendants.

The decision came just a week after the Vice President of the Republic, Epsy Campbell Barr, insisted before the plenary session of the organization and in different bilateral meetings on the urgency of creating such a forum to improve people’s quality of life for Afro-descendants, worldwide.


Comunidad Afro de Ecuador. Photo Source- This is Ecuador.


The forum’s main functions will be to contribute to the full political, economic and social inclusion of Afro-descendants, as well as to provide, in coordination with existing mechanisms, specialized advice and recommendations to the Human Rights Council, the Main Committees of the General Assembly, as well as to the organs, programs, funds and agencies of the UN, to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

In addition, the forum will study the possibility of drafting a United Nations declaration on the promotion, protection and full respect of the human rights of people of African descent and will monitor the progress made in the effective implementation of the program of activities for the International Decade for People of African Descent.

It will also support the coordination of programs aimed at the socio-economic development of Afro-descendant communities and will address the urgent global need to establish adequate channels to obtain disaggregated data, in order to contribute to better policy implementation related to Afro-descendants.

The Permanent Forum will designate a president and a vice president for each session and will appoint a rapporteur from among its members. The annual meetings of the body will last four days and will take place at the UN Office in Geneva and at the headquarters in New York alternately starting next year.


Comunidad Afro Descendiente, Ecuador. Photo Source: El Telegrafo.


Costa Rica’s Leadership

In recent months, Costa Rica has led, together with the Republic of Chad, the intergovernmental discussions of the General Assembly for the establishment of the Permanent Forum of Afro-descendants, a mechanism that, according to Vice President Epsy Campbell Barr “has been demanded for a long time and that today in the context of the middle of the Decade and of the times of global mobilization in which we live finally began to materialize.”

For his part, Enrique Joseph Jackson, Presidential Commissioner for Afro-descendant Affairs, explained that the UN member states have committed to eradicating the social injustices inherited from history, and unified to fight against racism, prejudice and racial discrimination, worldwide.


Soledad Quartucci | Latina Republic

Dr. Soledad Quartucci is the founder and CEO of Latina Republic, a 501(C)3 California-based nonprofit organization. Latina Republic is a reporting, research, advocacy and charitable organization advancing human rights in the Americas. We fill the void in coverage of urgent social, political, human rights, economic and gender inequalities affecting the Americas. Through our allies in Latin America, we highlight contributions, heritage, history, leadership and innovation. Latina Republic reports on stories that integrate local strategies to the betterment of the region. We make space for and empower unheard voices and celebrate the rich histories of Latin America.