IDPAD 2018 Summit opens

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 8, 2018

The International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024 (IDPAD) Summit opened today, at the Marriott Hotel.

Acting President, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, in the feature address noted that “the government of Guyana welcomes the observance of the decade as an important pillar in our overall efforts to provide the good life for all Guyanese.”

Acting President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge.

Minister Greenidge added that the stories of people of African descent must be told so that social cohesion can continue to be fostered. “The story of people of African descent ought to be told and, better told. Beyond the challenges and setbacks there are also innumerable stories of the people who have come through, who have indeed made it”, he observed.

The Minister said that the story of the people of African descent is very much a story of a people of indomitable will and incomparable resilience, who despite the challenges still stand proud for the contributions that they would have made in building the lands that have become their homes.

He further opined that the gathering, “will fuel significant contributions for the realisation of the Summit’s objectives.” He added that there are critical imperatives to be pursued if all people of African descent are indeed to achieve their rightful place.

Minister Greenidge continued, “I trust that you will be able to tackle many of the pressing issues and offer practical solutions for addressing them – the need for changes in our educational system, especially for our boys, updating the curriculum to take account of the history of people of African descent, the situation with our youth and youth unemployment, the rising tide of the culture of violence of all types, health and lifestyles — in many instances what we’re eating is eating us, the question of ancestral lands, economic inclusion and empowerment, opportunities in the new economic landscape of Guyana, improving ties with Africa and stronger diasporic relations.”

Programme Manager of Culture and Community Development, Dr. Hilary Brown.

CARICOM’S Programme Manager of Culture and Community Development, Dr. Hillary Brown said the UN’ s proclamation was a welcome one and commended the government for hosting of the summit, “The decade success depends in part on what we do at this summit and how effective we are in our efforts to rethink, re-strategize, organise our services and most importantly implement.”

Also delivering remarks were Dr. William Adu-Krow, PAHO/WHO Representative and Birgit Gerstenberg, Senior Human Rights Advisor, United Nations, Jamaica.

The International Decade for People of African Descent, 2015-2024, was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in a Resolution (68/237) adopted on December 23, 2013. The theme of the International Decade is “People of African descent: Recognition, Justice and Development”.

The stated objectives of the International Decade for People of African Descent are to promote respect, protection and fulfillment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for people of African descent, as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; promote a greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent to the development of societies; adopt and strengthen national, regional and international legal frameworks according to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and to ensure their full and effective implementation.

The summit is being held under the theme “Where we are; where we ought to be and how do we get there” and will conclude on Sunday.

A section of the audience at the IDPAD Summit 2018.

 

By: Gabreila Patram

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