Major conference soon

In about another month or so, the region could host a major conference on reparations and reparatory justice, which is to be attended by various Government delegations from throughout Europe.

This revelation from the chairman of CARICOM’s Reparations Commission (CRC), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.

During a Press conference this morning to update local and international media on the progress of the commission’s work, he revealed that a ten-point plan, outlining the case for reparatory justice for the region’s indigenous and African descendant communities, was among recommendations to Caribbean Community Heads of Government during the just-concluded summit in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“The . . . action plan has been accepted by CARICOM Heads as well as the recommendation that government of Europe ought to be invited to participate in a summit in order to deal with this matter of continuing harm and continuing suffering within the tradition of international diplomacy.  The diplomatic initiative is designed, or will be designed to ensure that there is reconciliation, to ensure that there is truth and justice, and to put an end to this terrible history so that the world may move on in the 21st century as a more harmonious place.

“The call for a diplomatic initiative in the form a major conference or summit to treat with this matter has been accepted.
It is the hope of the commission and of the governments of the region that this process will take place and that reparatory justice for the people of the Caribbean who continue to suffer harm as s result of their history can be brought to an amicable conclusion,” he said.

Sir Hilary further revealed that a process for how to move forward had already been decided by the Heads of Government, and the Commission was now to meet with the chairman of the Prime Ministerial Subcommittee on Reparations, Barbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

“After we have that meeting with Prime Minister Stuart in his capacity of chairman, [we] will go back to the Heads, and the Heads will take it from there in respect of the diplomatic outreach to the governments of Europe and we are all hoping that this process will be completed in the month or so,” he added.

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