We Must ‘Drive Meaningful Change by Ensuring People of African Descent Enjoy Full, Equal Realization of Their Human Rights’, Secretary-General Tells Forum

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the third session of the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent, in Geneva today:

Excellencies, distinguished guests, this third session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent brings together the United Nations, Governments, civil society, human rights defenders and more at a critical moment for equality and racial justice.

We celebrate the invaluable achievements and contributions of people of African descent across the range of human endeavour, from political and civil rights struggles around the world, to science, technology, industry, literature, music and all the arts, and more.

At the same time, racial discrimination and inequality continue — based on centuries of enslavement and colonialism.

By establishing this Permanent Forum, the international community demonstrated its commitment to addressing these injustices.

Now we must build on that momentum to drive meaningful change — by ensuring that people of African descent enjoy the full and equal realization of their human rights; by stepping up efforts to eliminate racism and discrimination — including through reparations; and by taking steps towards the full inclusion of people of African descent in society as equal citizens.

Together, let’s use this Permanent Forum to continue building a future of human rights, dignity, equality and justice for all people of African descent.

Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.