President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged his support for ‘The Accra Declaration on Reparations and Racial Healing’, in an event to mark this year’s International Day for People of African Descent.
To mark the International Day for People of African Descent, a global coalition of diplomats, scholars, activists, artists and civil society organizations (CSOs) released ‘The Accra Declaration on Reparations and Racial Healing’ document – a groundbreaking policy initiative to chart a new path for the Reparations movement.
The Declaration is the outcome of an international convening focused on reparations and healing held earlier this month in Accra, Ghana.
President Akuffo-Addo, in his keynote address, extolled the declaration’s importance while pledging support for the initiative.
“The effects of the Slave trade have been devastating to the African continent and to the African diaspora, with the entire period of slavery stifling Africa’s economic, cultural and psychological progress.
“Our responsibility is to do as much as we can to move forward with this declaration as a guide for how our work impacts generations to come. We call for the adoption of a clear, comprehensive definition of reparations, and the forming of criteria for reparatory justice initiatives based on the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action,” he said.
Building on ‘The Abuja Proclamation of 1993’ and ‘The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action of 2001’, The Accra Declaration highlights legacies of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, colonialism and ongoing harms. It calls for the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent to convene a global summit of former colonial powers on the issue of reparations; the development of underdeveloped economies through the reformation of global systems and structures; and the return of stolen artifacts.
It also calls for the UN to extend its ‘United Nations Decade for People of African Descent’ programme, and for a process of acknowledgment and healing for the roles that both Europe and Africans played in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Members of the Global Circle will be participating in a series of events commemorating the International Day for People of African Descent.
Scholars, activists, journalist, and human rights activists including Dr. Julius Garvey, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Dr. Hilary Beckles and economist Darrick Hamilton were among attendees.
“We are experiencing unprecedented momentum at this moment in our work around the world,” said the Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Commission.
On his part, Dr. Sir Hilary Beckles said: “The fact that people came together from the Caribbean, Europe, South America and North America, and a sitting head of state is making such a bold statement about reparations shows the growing appeal and importance.
“This will be critical to the relationships that are being forged, and will help bolster our efforts to facilitate both accountability and healing worldwide,” said Dr. Enola Aird, Founder of the Community Healing Network.
“The Reparations movement is only growing, and we credit the work that has been done for so long,” said Dr. Ron Daniels, co-chair of the Global Circle for Reparations and Healing.
The Accra Declaration on Reparations and Racial Healing serves as the final outcome of the Advancing Justice: Reparations and Racial Healing Summit 2022.
It holds that there is both a moral and legal obligation on perpetrators of the crimes to engage in full reparations wherever the crimes were committed and the legacies persist.