HIGH LEVEL IBEROAMERICAN SUMMIT TO CELEBRATE THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR FOR PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT

Monday 21 November 2011

“SALVADOR DECLARATION”

The Heads of State and Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil, of the Republic of Cape Verde, of the Republic of Guinea, of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, the Vice-President of the Republic of Colombia, the Minister of Culture of Angola, the Minister of Culture, Literacy, Handicrafts and Tourism of the Republic of Benin, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of de Cuba and the Minister of Culture the Republic of Peru met in Salvador/Bahia, Brazil, on November 19, 2011, to celebrate the International Year for People of African Descent, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 64/169 of December 18, 2009.

Convened by the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Government of the State of Bahia, and the Ibero-American General Secretariat, with the support of the United Nations, the primary objectives of the Summit were to give visibility to the social, cultural, political, and economic contributions of people of African descent to Latin America and the Caribbean to raise the awareness of the vulnerable situation in which most of this population live and to recommend national, regional, and international strategies to promote the full inclusion of people of African descent and overcome racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The Heads of State and Government:

Underscored that the Summit assumed particular relevance, since the Latin America and Caribbean have the largest population of people of African descent in the world, an estimated 150 to 200 million persons, and has been the primary destination of the African Diaspora;

Recalled the tenth anniversary of the Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, which represents a significant anti discrimination agenda on behalf of the development of national strategies and coordinated regional and international policies to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance throughout the world;

Underlined that the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the Declaration and Programme of Action of the Regional Conference of the Americas, in Santiago, Chile, December 2000, expressly recognized the right of people of African descent to their own culture and identity, to equal participation in the economic and social life, to the use and conservation of natural resources on ancestrally inhabited lands, to participation in the development of educational systems and programs, and to the free practice of traditional African religions;

Based on the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and on the Declaration and Programme of Action of the Conference of the Americas, they pledged to implement public policies aimed at promoting non-discrimination and the social, cultural, economic, and political inclusion of people of African descent, including through affirmative action measures;

Recognized that despite the progress achieved in various countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to promote the rights of people of African descent, great challenges remain to ensure the full inclusion of this population segment on equal conditions in the social, cultural, economic, and political life taking into account different national realities;

Inspired by the principles of the inherent dignity of the human person and of equality between all people enshrined in the international instruments related to the promotion and protection of human rights, they committed themselves to combat the social exclusion and marginalization of people of African descent, identified as root causes and aggravating factors behind the discrimination of which they are the primary victims;

Reaffirmed their determined commitment to the full and unconditional elimination of racism and all forms of discrimination and intolerance;

Stressed that the magnitude of the contributions of people of African descent to the social, cultural, religious, political, and economic formation of the region’s States must be valued and recognized;

Stressed the need to give value and recognize the social, cultural, religious, political and economic contribution of people of African descent in the creation of the States in the region, and highlight that this process of contribution it is on going till today;

Emphasized the importance of preserving and disseminating the rich legacy of Africa and of people of African descent to the construction and development of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. They underscored that the construction of national identity in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean is closely tied in various degrees to knowledge of African history and cultures;

Highlighted the central role of education in preventing prejudice, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance. To this end, they expressed support for the introduction of programs in educational systems to promote the full development of the human personality, to reinforce respect for all human rights, democratic values, and fundamental freedoms as well as the diverse and unique historical, religious and cultural needs backgrounds of each nation, and to foster understanding, tolerance, and friendship between all nations and racial and religious groups;

Emphasized the importance of guaranteeing all people of African descent the fundamental human rights enshrined in the international instruments for the promotion and protection of human rights;

Stressed the importance of collecting disaggregated statistical data for the formulation and implementation of effective public policies to increase equal opportunity for people of African descent in relation to the region’s citizens as a whole and to overcome their systematic invisibility in many countries;

Condemned violence and intolerance against African religious communities. They recognized that peaceful coexistence among religions in multicultural and multiracial societies and democratic States is founded on the respect for equality and non-discrimination between religions and the separation between the Laws of the State and religious precepts;

Pledged to confront the high levels of victimization among young people, children and women of African descent on the basis of security policies based on citizen’s rights and centered on protecting persons through the adoption of violence prevention measures;

Committed to work together to combat inequality, poverty, and social exclusion through cooperation and the exchange of experiences. To this end, they reaffirmed their determination to implement a vigorous social agenda in line with the commitments assumed under international agreed commitments, including the Millennium Development Goals;

Recognized the need to secure progress in mainstreaming the gender perspective into the measures and programs adopted to confront racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, with a view to combating the phenomenon of multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination against women.

Recognized the fundamental role of civil society in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in particular in assisting governments to develop regulations and strategies, in taking measures and action against such forms of discrimination and through follow-up implementation;

Underlined the importance of combating the impunity for manifestations and practices of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in sports, a phenomenon of which people of African descent are often victims;

Welcomed the hosting of 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil and emphasized the importance of striving to ensure the two events promote understanding, tolerance, and peace among States, peoples, and nations and strengthen efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance;

To demonstrate their resolute commitment to advancing cooperation as a means for promoting the full inclusion of people of African descent in society within their respective countries and overcoming racism and racial discrimination, and taking into account different national contexts, the Heads of State and Government decided:

To establish the “Statistical Data Observatory for People of African Descent in Latin America and the Caribbean”. The objective of the Observatory will be to collect from the information provided by national institutions in charge of statistical data, compile, and disseminate data and statistics on the situation of people of African descent at the regional, national and local levels in the different spheres of social life, including, inter alia, education, employment, health, justice, politics, culture, sports, and leisure, as appropriate, with a view to assist Governments, based on their specific functions and priorities, to formulate and implement public policies to promote the rights of people of African descent. The location of the headquarters and funding arrangements of the Observatory will be determined by mutual agreement of the Participating States and the Ibero-American General Secretariat.

To establish the “Ibero-American Fund on behalf of People of African Descent”, based on voluntary contributions, its objective will be to finance projects and programs dedicated to preserving African culture, memory, and traditions. The projects and programs will be designed to foster inter alia the creation, circulation, protection, and dissemination of cultural goods, services, and values of populations of African descent, including through the promotion of entrepreneurship. The Fund, which is to be managed by the Ibero-American General Secretariat, will also be used to finance educational and cultural programs on behalf of people of African descent, taking into account the gender perspective.

To recommend the establishment of a “Decade of People of African Descent in Latin America and the Caribbean, “ an effort that is to be formally implemented by the Member States of the Ibero-American Conference, for the purpose of fostering South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives in conjunction with national efforts, on the basis of good practices in public policies aimed at promoting the inclusion of persons of African descent and at confronting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

To propose the symbolic declaration of Salvador, Bahia, as the Ibero-American capital of people of African descent.

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