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Legal standards and guidelines

Operational Guidelines on the inclusion of People of African Descent in the 2030 agenda


01 December 2020


People of African descent

The WGEPAD prepared these Operational Guidelines as a tool for UN Country Teams, Member States, financial and development institutions and all stakeholders to assist them to implement the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs with a specific focus on people of African descent.

The Working Group provides compelling human rights arguments as to why there should be a specific focus on people of African descent as one of the population groups who face multiple and compounded forms of discrimination and should be prioritized to end inequalities and discrimination “leave no one behind” and “reach the furthest behind first”. They refer to international human rights law and available official and unofficial data including reference to WGEPAD reports and other studies.

The UN Working Group believes that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and its Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), adopted by Heads of State and Government at the United Nations Summit in September 2015 (A/RES/70/1), provides a vehicle to address the racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance that people of African descent face every day around the world.

In 2017 the Working Group reported to the Human Rights Council on their thematic session “Leaving no-one behind: people of African descent and the sustainable development goals” with recommendations. The Working Group urged Member States to make a genuine commitment to the standard of leaving no one behind by, inter alia, collecting inclusive and disaggregated data and devoting special attention to the human rights of people of African descent through the preparation of specific programmes of action, including social programmes for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent.

The Working Group has developed these Operational Guidelines on inclusion of People of African Descent in the 2030 agenda in accordance with international human rights obligations for the protection of the human rights of people of African descent. These guidelines are intended as a tool to assist all stakeholders in a human rights-based approach to implementation of the SDGs as they relate to Africans and people of African descent. They are also intended to assist the United Nations System and development partners to implement the International Decade for People of African Descent (PAD) and its programme of activities.

The guidelines were field-tested in Ecuador and Peru in 2019-2020.

Issued By:

Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

Delivered To:

26th session of the Working Group