Every August 31st, the world comes together through the UN International Day for People of African Descent to honor the shared heritage, diverse culture, and profound influence of Africans and the global African diaspora. This day also serves as an opportunity to raise global awareness about the challenges of systemic racism, discrimination, and exclusion faced by individuals of African descent worldwide.
In December 2022, President Biden issued an executive order to create the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States. In June 2022, I appointed Desirée Cormier Smith as the inaugural Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice at the State Department. Since then, she has diligently coordinated the Department’s efforts to combat global anti-Black racism and advance the human rights of individuals from marginalized racial, ethnic, and Indigenous communities worldwide through our foreign policy.
On this day, we reaffirm our commitment to the theme of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent: recognition, justice, and development.