Irina Bokova's message on the Decade for People of African Descent



ladies and gentlemen the launch of the international decade for people of African descent sends an essential message in the world changing quickly for societies under pressure this is a message of hope a message of tolerance a message of human rights and human dignity the international decade for people of African descent is inspired by the powerful idea that to counter discrimination prejudice and intolerance today to build a more just inclusive and peaceful future we must build on the history all humanity shares the past features tragic chapters but it tells the story also of constant exchange interaction entire log across the world we see increasing recognition of the immeasurable contribution of women and men of African descent to shaping societies today the international decade for people of African descent is designed to transform this recognition into action to encourage governments to counter and eliminate all forms of discrimination including prejudice inherited from the past these same goals guide all UNESCO work to break the silence around slavery and the slave trade to shed light on the struggles for dignity and freedom and enslaved peoples to highlight their contribution to strengthening the fundamental notions of humanity liberty and justice and to contribute to the dialogue among cultures UNESCO is working for this story to be taught and shared across the world starting with our slave root project celebrating its 20th anniversary this year the general history of F series we will move forward together in the spirit of partnership working with member states with civil society with all partners in the United Nations system as well as with working group of experts on people of African descent whom I wish to thank for their commitment this international decade matters for all people of African descent it matters for every society and for each of us

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