I read the story below recently and truly am at a loss for words. It is so mind boggling it is laughable. Sadly, it is true. How can the world be so taken in by these people? The UN is a useless organization as the article below exemplifies. While the world disintegrates into chaos they spend time and money on useless ventures like this. Why not a summit on Irish descendents, or Italian, or Mexican? Which group is the flavor of the month for the UN? I pray the US will not participate. I also pray the US will not give one cent to this ludicrous idea. I object strongly to the idea that we owe the world for our success. I believe in charity given from the heart, not dictated by a UN organization. What do you think?
(CNSNews.com) – Only three months to go until the First World Summit of African Descendants, a U.N.-sponsored event that aims to “right historical wrongs.”
The August 18-21 summit in La Ceiba, Honduras, will focus on the socioeconomic conditions of Afro-descendant populations and establish a plan to “ensure development with equity for these groups,” said the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), which announced the event in Washington on Thursday.
The event is part of the United Nations-declared International Year of African Descendants.
“This International Year of African Descendants provides an opportunity to right historical wrongs: in health, education, poverty, land rights, jobs, and financial credit for economic and social progress,” said Pan American Health Organization Director Mirta Roses in a news release. “This celebration is important for recognizing the strength and resilience of Afro-descendant communities throughout the Americas, who have thrived despite historical discrimination and repression.”
The U.N. says an estimated 150 million African descendants live in Mexico and Central and South America.
Health, contraceptives and social justice
According to PAHO/WHO, compared with Caucasians, the babies of African descendants are more likely to die, their mothers face more risks in childbirth, adult men have higher rates of homicide and HIV, and adolescents are more likely to become pregnant.
At the same time, “equal access to health services and contraceptives remains a challenge,” said Dr. Roses. “This year is a time to celebrate the power of Afro-descendant organizations in challenging and changing these inequalities.”
The summit will provide an opportunity to analyze international cooperation and “close the existing development gaps through concrete commitments, clear strategies, and adequate resources,” said Jorge Ramón Hernández Alcerro, the Honduran ambassador to the United States.
“We are in 2011, and this will be the First World Summit of African Descendants,” said Jim Coffin, of Phelps-Stokes, a philanthropist group that promotes “social justice” in Africa and the Americas. “People will be empowered, commitments will be made. This summit will make a big difference.”
One of the Americas’ pending debts is to “put an end to historical and structural discrimination against African descendants,” said Santiago Cantón, executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). He said initiatives such as the summit are “essential steps” toward ending such discrimination. He said the summit will raise awareness of violations of the human rights of African descendants, and thereby help put an end to them.
Organizers say the summit also will follow up on previous commitments, such as those made at the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, the Durban conference was marked by strong disagreements over issues, including attempts to equate Zionism with apartheid and calls for the U.S. and other Western nations to pay reparations for slavery. The conference and a parallel NGO gathering eventually degenerated into what critics described as an anti-Israel “hate-fest,” and the Bush administration withdrew its already-downgraded delegation in protest. The Israeli representatives also walked out.
Discussions at the Honduras summit will focus on politics, society, culture, and education. Organizers expect up to 800 people to participate in the summit, including representatives of international organizations and “Afro-descendant social movements.”
Celeo Álvarez Casildo, president of the Organization for Ethnic Community Development (ODECO) and executive secretary of the World Summit of African Descendants, on Thursday thanked organizations including IACHR, the Inter-American Development Bank, and PAHO/WHO for their support.
PAHO Director Roses praised ODECO for providing “global leadership by bringing together people from all over the world to celebrate their African heritage and their achievements.”
Álvarez Casildo said the summit was expected to conclude with a “Declaration of the Decade of African Descendants and the creation of a new fund for Afro-descendant Development.
“The summit is not the end, it’s a means for transformation,” he said. “It’s an extremely important medium to ensure that these voices no longer remain silent.”