In a statement issued over the weekend, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured its commitment to condemning racism, noting that it adopted a draft United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to promote and protect the rights and freedoms of Africans and people of African descent.
The statement came after Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell accused the government of not participating in the recent UNCHR debate.
“As a nation of majority people of African descent, with a shared history of slavery, we condemn all forms of racism and believe that equal treatment is a human right founded in natural justice,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its statement.
“Therefore, The Bahamas joined consensus along with other members of the UNHRC, and indeed the international community, for the convening of an urgent debate on racism in light of recent events globally.
“The Bahamas is also aligned with the statement made by the Non-Aligned Movement, which denounces racism in all its insidious forms.
“As a result, The Bahamas is of the view that its position on racism—wherever it finds itself in the world—has been made demonstrably clear.
“Today, the international community, by way of consensus adopted a draft resolution to further promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and people of African descent. In its statement to the UNHRC, The Bahamas reaffirmed its commitment to eradicating racism and protecting the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all.
“The Bahamas looks forward to engaging with other member states on the question of racism and human rights, which is of grave concern and needs to be eradicated wherever it raises its intolerable head.”
The UNHRC held the debate on the issue of human rights in the United States on Wednesday.
The event focused on “systemic racism on people of African descent by law enforcement agencies”, amid ongoing unrest in the United States following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota last month.
The draft resolution seeks an investigation by an independent international commission of inquiry into the “deaths of Africans and people of African descent” in the United States in an attempt to bring perpetrators to justice.
In a statement released last week, Mitchell said there was no evidence The Bahamas, a member of the UNHRC, showed up to the meeting and raised concern over the matter given the ongoing unrest over police brutality and racism in the United States.