7th December 2010
2011: International Year for People of African Descent
Invitation to a Meeting of Great Minds
The year 2011 has been designated by the United Nations (UN) as the International Year for People of African Descent. In order to make the most of the year, BANGO invites your organisation to attend a "Meeting of Great Minds" at Allen Temple, Flagstaff Road, Clapham, St. Michael on Friday December 10th at 7:00pm.
The purpose of the meeting is to come up with proposals for the 2011 Barbados programme of action for the International Year for People of African Descent. The theme for the year is "Recognition, Justice & Development". The UN has further instructed that the year be observed with the full involvement of all relevant UN bodies, programmes, and specialised agencies, in particular UNESCO, ILO, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA.
In addition, the UN has agreed that the relevant UN authority establish a voluntary fund for the International Year including, an initial contribution from the UN regular budget and invites contributions from Member States and all relevant donors to provide additional funding for the implementation of the activities relating to the International Year, as well as follow-up activities and to facilitate the participation of NGOs dealing with issues of People of African descent in such activities.
Basically, the international community has provided a space for people like us. The question is, how best can we take advantage of this opportunity to rise in prominence? There can be no doubt that there have been some great black men; inventors, pioneers, etc. We have invented things from traffic lights to the internet. In Barbados, we ourselves have been leaders in political and economic affairs.
For example, our Union leaders head committees of the UN and are serving in every capacity. Most notable was Dame Nita Barrow's contribution to the UN and recently, Ms. Liz Thompson has been appointed as an Assistant Secretary General of the UN. Apart from these achievements, Barbados boasts of a unique Social Partnership, among the highest literacy rate in the world and one of the most stable political systems in the world. When you look at the economic performance of Barbados, given its size and population, we have survived handsomely in the face of global challenges, starting from the oil crisis in 1973 to the IMF and now the financial crisis.
Barbadians are known to be some of the greatest people in the world, reflected in our national heroes. Indeed, great minds exist in Barbados which is now ranked as the first developed small nation. We are a people who have something to share with the world. In these times of turmoil that threaten to engulf our islands, the world is in dire need of leadership. Our world has become very artificial. The quality of life and the stability we have known is under serious threat as the rest of the world wobbles.
On December 10, 2010 is Human Rights Day and it is fitting for our Meeting of Great Minds to be held, which will also coincide with the UN launch of 'International Year for People of African Descent' at UN Headquarters. Our Meeting is being held in collaboration with African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church (Allen Temple). The AME Church was founded in 1787 and is the first organisation to have challenged the human rights abuses heaped upon enslaved African people.
Come prepared to play your part in developing a Barbados programme of action for 2011; by the people, for the people. We look forward to your attendance at this very important event..
Allen Temple A.M.E. Church, Flagstaff Road, St. Michael
Friday 10th December 2010
Refreshments will be served