By Benjamin Flowers
Reparations committee leaders from the Caribbean Community, and the United States, have agreed to consolidate their efforts in seeking reparations from former slave-trading and slave-owning nations.
The agreement came at the end of a three-day conference which ended in New York on Sunday, by the US-based black empowerment organization, the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW).
Participants at the conference called for Caribbean nations to invite the former slave-owning and slave-trading European nations to attend an inter-governmental reparatory justice summit in 2015.
Participants also agreed to organize two global reparations summits, the first in 2016 to be held in the Caribbean and another in 2017 in Europe.
The participants have also agreed to support the African Global Reparations Movement and to call on all civil society organizations and governments in countries around the world with Afro-descendant populations to establish national reparations, commissions or committees.
According to Marvin Mora, member of the Belize Initiative for Justice and Reparations Committee, Belize had a representative at the conference, who will make an official report back to the committee in the upcoming week.
Mora explained that once the committee has been briefed on the full details of the meeting, it will engage the Belizean public on the continued efforts to seek reparations for the legacy that slavery has left behind.
“Belizeans must not divorce themselves from our history, there are many lessons to be learned from it, in terms of the disadvantages that we face and why so many countries are so far ahead of us,” Mora said.
CARICOM nations agreed in December 2013 to collectively seek reparations from European countries, such as Great Britain, Poland and Spain.
In January 2014, CARICOM issued a 10-point programme for “Reparatory Justice” that frames their reparations demands as a “development strategy.”