2011 International Year of People of African Descent

Morning, Morning guys and gals.

If you don’t already know, this new year 2011 has been proclaimed by the UN to be the International Year for People of African Descent. Wow, that’s nice I thought. But then I wondered, why do we need a year? Either we’re doing something worthy of positive attention in the world or… we need help. So I looked it up and here’s what the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization said about it (italics mine):

“The Year aims at strengthening national actions and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent in relation to their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture.”

One comment I read in response to this news in an online newspaper was basically saying that the UN was up to another one of its useless charades. The person pointed out that the UN had failed to stop the atrocities that occurred in Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda, North Korea among others and that this was all just talk but again, there will be no significant action.

What do you think? Do you think the UN is well-intentioned but disappointing in action? or Do you think they do their best and may actually work with the international community to strengthen international cooperation for the benefit of  people of African descent (whomever that includes)?

Another question is, if the UN really is a flop, what can and should African nations do for themselves this year? I think that those nations with stable governments should take the lead, start afresh and start digging themselves out of the Survival Trap.

Eric Kacou talked about the Survival Trap at a TEDx talk in Kigali last April, and during our interview with him in a feature article called, ‘What are we doing today for tomorrow”

What are we doing today for tomorrow?

Check it and as always, thoughts are welcomed.


2 thoughts on “2011 International Year of People of African Descent

  1. Aba says:

    This is a complicated one and my feelings about the UN are mixed . I think we need to first establish the original mandate of the UN. When it was created it was established to prevent another world war and I guess you can say that they have succeeded in doing that so I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the Organisation has failed. The Organisation is heavily involved in humanitarian work this is not its initial mandate was.

    On the other hand there is a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scene that we don’t know about. I think that some diseases and current situations (like global warming) are hyped up to get extra money flowing into the Organisation.

    A major issue I have with the UN is that the 5 permanent members (UK, US, Russia, China & Germany I think) don’t represent the entire world and there needs to be greater permanent representation of African needs and the interests of other developing nations in the UN.

    So I don’t know…lots of mixed feelings.

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