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United Nations People of African Descent

Promoting equal inclusion, recognition and access for all persons in the United Nations system worldwide

Message from Co-Founder, Lanla Kamara-Joyner

Speaking from the heart
March 4, 2017

Please join us on this journey of discovery and mobilization for a better world!

I have been frequently asked, what got you to the point of identifying the need to establish an organization like UNPAD. Was this ‘awakening’ the response to a personal experience? My reply is, it is the response to our collective experiences, the struggles of people of African descent globally and my own personal struggles in seeking to understand the root causes of the barriers that stand in the way of people of African descent. In an effort to gain deeper understanding of the root causes of this status quo, I was led on a journey through time and history – one that was both spiritual in nature and material at the same. Unveiling what underscores the global pattern of the disenfranchised status of people of African descent that is evident in the United States, the Latin American countries of the world, to name a couple, and also evidently so in international institutions – despite global commitment to reverse this trend – led me to the conclusion that racism itself is but one among several factors that could be responsible.

Concerted, collective, united and sustained action among people of African descent and like-minded persons will be critical for combating racism. Holding countries and institutions of the world accountable to their stated commitments towards this goal is the main objective of UNPAD.


UNPAD is the group working to promote equal access for all persons in the United Nations system worldwide, regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, inter alia, through the elimination of any barriers to the recognition, contribution and inclusion of persons of African-Descent in the United Nations system. Read on and contact us to learn how you can become part of the change.

Our Mission

Promoting equal inclusion, recognition and access for all persons in the United Nations system worldwide within the framework of General Assembly Resolutions 68/237 and 69/16 for the International Decade for People of African-Descent and the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.


Creation of UN-PAD is foundationally motivated by Goals 10 and 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals; and by General Assembly Resolutions 68/2371 and 69/162 that compel member states and international organisations to take action to promote equality and inclusion of persons of African-Descent and to directly engage with them for the purposes of doing so (paragraph 28 (i) of A/Res./69/16). People of African-Descent as the intended beneficiaries have a primary interest and matching responsibility to mobilize and direct United Nations efforts to fulfill the world’s commitment to them particularly having noted the absence of any organizational movement to implement Paragraph 28 of A/Res./69/16 twenty (20) months into the establishment of the Decade. UN-SONG exists at the intersection of these two compelling sets of motivations.

UN-PAD believes in the equality of all races and denies any notion of the intellectual, moral or physical superiority of any one race over the other and rejects any postulations that can be viewed as a tacit inference of the natural superiority of one race or ethnicity in the area of science, the arts, technology, sports, or other. Rather, all human beings regardless of their nationality, ethnic origin or cultural background if provided with the same opportunities at the national or international level, have the same potential for growth and can equally contribute intellectually, physically, morally and socially to the goals and purposes of the world and to global development.

Due to the multicomponent nature of the human being who at all times in their existence displays a race, gender, age and sexual orientation, Equality and Diversity must be treated as indivisible and holistic concepts in appreciation of the fact that for any individual to enjoy true equality, all structural oppressions to the human being must be removed. Unless all persons and groups are equal, no one person or group would fully enjoy equal treatment.

UN-PAD recognizes that while the conscience of the organization as evident through its many proclamations is committed to recognition, access and development for people of African-Descent, the reality of United Nations operations may show a racial disparity, particularly for women of African-Descent who have not benefited equally from the Gender balance hiring policies of the organization, and that while General Assembly Resolution 69/16 call upon international organisations to assign particular priority to the projects devoted to the collection of statistical data, such monitoring, reporting and data collection tools for tracking inclusion and equality are notably lacking in the United Nations system.

The United Nations system of geographical representation as a system for recruitment falls severely short of Goals 10 and 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals and General Assembly Resolutions 68/237 and 69/16; and must be supplemented. The system of desirable range of Geographical Representation, while imposing on the organisation a responsibility to assign specified quotas to nationalities does not compel the organisation to ensure inclusion and equality of representation in ranking, in staff categories, or in duty station classifications. To rely on it as a system that ensures fair and equitable inclusion and treatment is fundamentally flawed. To the contrary, it masks the need for a fair and equitable system. Its applicability is limited to regular budget posts which represent a fraction of the staffing structure of the United Nations, and regular vacancies.

UN-PAD recognizes the need to activate the racial consciousness of the organization, synergize efforts in raising awareness of the status of persons of African-Descent, inter alia, through the platforms established by General Assembly Resolutions 68/237 and 69/16, for the development of operational tools that will assist the organisation in fulfilling the goals set forth therein and is firmly of the view that an equally aggressive mandate by the organization (as it has for other diversity classifications/groups) will identify and eliminate gaps in access for people of African-Descent within the United Nations and promote interethnic and interracial respect.



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Contact Info

United Nations New York, NY 10017

Phone: (1) 646 331 6361

Web: https://www.unpad.org

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