IYPAD BARBADOS NGO CHAPTER INC. Towards a “Peaceful Caribbean” by Rev. Buddy Larrier

In April 2010 the United Nations (UN) Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent held its 9th session in Geneva to plan activities for 2011, the International Year for People of African Descent (IYPAD) and to discuss the proposal for a Decade for People of African Descent. At the conference it was agreed that there be an International Day for People of African Descent.

A Barbados NGO delegation led by Rev. Buddy Larrier was the only delegation present from the English Speaking Caribbean. This delegation submitted a proposal for 12th October as the most appropriate date. The Decade for People of African Descent has now been approved by the UN High Commission for Human Rights and will commence from January 2013 to 2023.

On February 21-22, 2011, the South African Government in cooperation with the African Union Commission hosted a Technical Committee of Experts Meeting in Pretoria, South Africa. The event brought together experts from the continent and its Diaspora and marked the commencement of the implementation of the first key element of the AU/South Africa/African Diaspora roadmap.

The other two key elements as presented by South Africa and endorsed by the AU were the Ministerial meeting which took place in September 2011 and the Global African Diaspora Summit scheduled to take place in Pretoria on 25th May, 2012.

Three Barbadians were among the persons invited to the technical experts meeting Mr. Oscar Brathwaite who is resident in Canada, Mr. David Comissiong and Rev. Buddy Larrier both of whom are resident in Barbados.

During the month of April Barbados has been featured prominently in the news with six important events; (1) Ms. Navi Pillay UN High Commissioner for Human Rights made a historic visit (2) the Caribbean Court of Justice held a historic sitting outside of Trinidad, (3) government’s sponsored Religious Summit which was also historic (4) the 1937 rebellion lecture series and ongoing discussions shed light and understanding of the effect of racism (white supremacy) as a direct cause of that historic event and its current manifestations (5) the finding of the country’s assessment living condition of the 2010 research made public and (6) a historic ‘Peaceful Caribbean Conference’ held at the Amaryllis Beach Resort on Bay Street

All these events have implications for greater understanding of the effect of the transatlantic slave trade, chattel enslavement and colonialism which were deemed crimes against humanity as outlined in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action from the 2001 UN world conference against racism. Solutions to all these matters will be addressed at the Global African Diaspora Summit to be held on 25th May 2012.

Therefore, this open letter is two folded; first it is an appeal for CARICOM governments to be adequately represented at this first Global African Diaspora Summit. Secondly it is an appeal for financial assistance from government or the private sector or individual to assist Rev. Buddy Larrier Barbados’ expert on racism to attend this important summit.

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