Caribbean Representation at the International Reparations Summit in New York

beckles

The International Reparations Summit has been taking place this weekend (from April 9 to 12, 2015) at various sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, New York. The Institute of the Black World 21st Century IBW, a leading research, policy and advocacy group with offices in New York and Baltimore, has been hosting the event.

Speakers at the conference have included Sir Hilary Beckles Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Commission (CRC); civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, Prof. Charles Ogeltree of Harvard University; and Mireille Fanon Mendes France, President of the Frantz Fanon Foundation and Chair of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African descent [daughter of Frantz Fanon, the Black liberation theoretician and psychiatrist from Martinique.]

The Jamaica Observer writes: Leaders of the national reparation commissions, committees and task forces from 11 Caricom countries are attending the summit that is expected to result in the launch of the National African-American Reparations Commission (NAARC). [. . .] “The summit is a new beginning of the new phase of the global reparatory justice movement,” Sir Hilary told reporters prior to his departure.

He said he was concerned about the impact that native genocide and African enslavement continued to have on the region’s ability to develop its healthcare and education systems, cultural institutions and economies, “although slavery has been abolished over a century”.

Sir Hilary said it was therefore important to establish a framework through which people of African descent could have “a right to reparatory justice”. “Our commission has confronted these matters and we are well on our way in establishing a path in which we can deal with this matter,” he said.

Caricom countries have already endorsed a 10-point plan of action put forward by the CRC and Sir Hilary said he was pleased that the commissions were “coming together to lay the foundation for what we hope will be a global summit within the next year”.

For full articles, see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/mobile/news/Caribbean-rep-for-historic-reparation-conference-in-United-States_18718659 and http://ibw21.org/promotion/international-black-reparations-summit-to-meet-in-new-york/

Also see an interview with Sir Beckles at https://en.unesco.org/un-sab/members/sir-hilary-mcdonald-beckles

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