The Future We Want
What if black people were never slaves? What do Black Swans look like in the Metaverse? Will Black people ever reach parity in the world?
Pact For the Future
Chapeau - Introduction
Our Common Agenda is the Secretary-General's vision for the future of global cooperation. It calls for inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism to better respond and deliver for the people and planet and to get the world back on track by turbocharging action on the Sustainable Development Goals. It outlines possible solutions to address the gaps and risks that have emerged since 2015, calling for a Summit of the Future to be held in 2024.
In recognition of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development pledge to leave no one behind and achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and the realisation of the human rights of all, the United Nations and member states committed to ending global poverty, hunger, combat inequalities within and among countries. Furthermore, they also committed to building peaceful, just, and inclusive societies, ensuring lasting protection of the planet's natural resources and creating conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work while considering differences in national development and capacities.
Afro4UN has responded to the call for input by providing detailed, actionable steps in the relevant Pact for the Future. Afro4UN pledges to promote inclusive international listening and “envisioning the future” exercises; strengthening and engaging in international foresight and Afrofuturism (an emerging philosophy for Africans and people of African descent to locate themselves in time and space with agency); participating in the Summit of the Future, the World Social Summit in 2025, and accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by centring those found at the bottom of the resource hierarchical ladder namely people of African descent and particularly women, girls and people with disabilities in our activities and outcomes. Afro4UN supports the quintet of change" for United Nations 2.0, including innovation, data, strategic foresight, results orientation, and behavioural science. Humanity stands at the threshold of an uncertain future, unimaginable for many but imaginable for those who set megatrends.
Sustainable development and financing for development
Offering reparations is a moral and reciprocal duty towards the descendants of enslaved and colonised Black Africans, aimed at redressing centuries of suffering, incarceration, and forced labour during the transatlantic slave trade, segregation, and colonisation. It also promotes racial reconciliation, bridging the racial divide and fostering harmony among future generations. This has positive implications for establishing fair and just societies, reducing reliance on charity. While philanthropy and community support initiatives are essential, they alone cannot fully address global issues like poverty and disenfranchisement, which have deep roots in the historical context of Black African enslavement and colonisation.
Reparations require the establishment of political, economic, social, educational, medical research, and governance infrastructure on an ethical foundation. They are feasible and inclusive, impacting both Black and White communities. A global commission or forum is needed to discuss this matter comprehensively, considering economic, spiritual, moral, humanitarian, and legal dimensions. It is crucial to recognise the unique struggle faced by Black individuals while acknowledging the suffering of others.
After reparations are paid, it is essential to create financial institutions and systems that support the livelihoods of Black individuals, as the existing mechanisms tend to favour white individuals. This power imbalance must be reassessed and renegotiated to benefit the Black community. An effective starting point is prioritising equitable procurement on a global scale, which can create wealth and promote economic growth for individuals, families, communities, and corporations. Governments and the private sector, whose wealth is a direct outcome of the transatlantic slave trade and colonisation and those who have contributed to the wealth acquisition have a moral and economic responsibility to prioritise procurement equity as a fundamental governance principle.
Additionally, impacted communities should be afforded the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to access substantial opportunities within the trillion-dollar procurement ecosystem of public and private contracts for goods and services.
International Peace and Security
Robotic technologies, such as collaborative robots (cobots) and artificial intelligence (AI), actively influence the current crisis and present various opportunities and challenges in our world. According to Bernard Marr, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) or Industry 4.0 signifies a transformative era in human history, where automation threatens many jobs predominantly held by Black individuals.
To end the ongoing marginalisation of Black people, it is crucial for United Nations member states to secure their access to a sustainable future, employment, and a new social contract that upholds their civil and human rights. Furthermore, the hoarding of wealth and the refusal to share knowledge and skills with those in need are abuses of invaluable resources and disrespect to our ethical responsibilities to our neighbours.
While laws are essential for governing civilised societies, some administrators of the legal system, particularly frontline law enforcement officers, often perceive themselves as lawmakers, judges, and juries, disregarding their status as citizens. It is worth considering the feasibility of placing policing administration and oversight under civilian jurisdiction or envisioning a new approach to policing. After all, civilians are the primary stakeholders who fund the police force through their taxes.
At present, the police exhibit a biased tendency to prioritise the welfare of affluent individuals while unfairly subjecting black and brown individuals to punishment. As civil servants, police officers should prioritise the welfare of both the citizens and themselves, eliciting support from all citizens to foster national and international harmony. Neglecting to address the correlation between Black and Brown people and law enforcement could lead to adverse encounters that tarnish their worldwide perception of authority and leadership. This results in a phobia of the police and justice system, prompting a need for a reformation in worldwide policing methods, which presently consolidate authority in the hands of a select few while perpetuating harm against the rest
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) describes the exponential changes to the way we live, work and relate to one another due to the adoption of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Systems
Youth and Future Generations
Afro4UN suggests that the United Nations establish a commission to examine how Black families function in a mega-corporations-fueled capitalist-Western economy. While still in a stage of fragmentation, the Black family is the primary organisation that can address all forms of disenfranchisement, particularly as they pertain to children's self-image, self-worth, and self-esteem. Whether intentional or unintentional, the exclusion of the Black community from the mainstream economy is a significant issue deserving of investigation. The alienation of Black consumers is further amplified by the stock market that prioritises the interests of corporations and their shareholders and disregards the interests of crucial stakeholders and black consumers, making the survival of the Black population as the world enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) (Industry 4.0) one of imminent concern.
Afro4UN advises member states to develop a youth education strategy for industrialisation that adequately prepares Black youth to participate fully in global technological expansion and reap economic benefits. The more substantial obstacle that generations of Black youths will face in the future is their inextricable birthright connection to the North American and European Diaspora. Therefore, Black youths must be at the forefront of this emerging industrial ecosystem trend in all nations. Afro4UN advocates for the international community to collaborate in establishing tuition-free universities for young people, which would serve as an alternative to academic institutions and private universities.
Afro4UN ardently champions a comprehensive overhaul of worldwide public education, denouncing its systemic devaluation of Black lives, cultural perpetuation of stereotypes, and cultural devaluation of Black and other marginalised cultures. The proposed curriculum exemplifies inclusivity by recognising and valuing the valuable contributions of each, especially the indigenous communities. A paradigm shift is advocated for by Afro4UN in the form of accessible universities, which would be funded equitably and provide innovative teacher preparation utilising AI, STEAM, and quantum computing. This appeal is for an educational revolution that embraces diversity, technological prowess, and the unwavering pursuit of a genuinely inclusive and empowering future for all.
Afro4UN concludes by proposing the establishment of a powerful region for wealth creation, emphasising the corporate community as opposed to individual wealth. This endeavour necessitates expertise in syndicate construction and maintenance, which serves the interests of all participating owners and shareholders. To enact a presence in this emerging market, corporations will be required to develop a strong sense of professionalism, "business intelligence," trust, and collaboration, enabling their expansion into majority and minority communities as well as globally. Therefore, an essential element of the growth strategy for an entrepreneur is a substantial degree of business integrity and expertise.
Transforming Global Governance
Developing countries face unique challenges which must be highlighted in global governance discussions. These nations possess vast natural resources but need more technical expertise to create industrial infrastructure. More importantly, they lack good governance, negotiating skills, and technological power used by the Global North nations to develop a future for humanity akin to a “boiling point of discontent” despite social, economic, and technological enlightenment, thus giving rise to permanent global instability.
The Summit of the Future and UN SDGs must continue to address the future of race and racism. Afro4UN recommends rigorous scientific research beyond a basic understanding of the fragile human ecosystem created to exclude those like us. We urge UN member states to provide developing countries with governance support and technological empowerment to build their industrial footprint and to grow their ability as equal collaborators/partners. Our Common Future calls for collaboration among individuals, communities, corporations, governments, and religious organisations, particularly the church that undergirds Western democracy.
This paper is based partly on our collaboration with the Canadian Black Empowerment Manifesto (CBEM) and our Afro-Caribbean Business Network (ACBN) Canada Foundation partners. https://gibbshappinessindex.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Gibbs-_A-Canadian-Black-Empowerment-Manifesto-CBEM-Version-2.0.-Volume-001.-Revision-003.pd
AFRO4UN Editorial Team for the December 31st submission of the Pact for the Future:
Dr. Lawana Richmond
PM Yvonne Apiyo Brändle-Amolo
Thandi Soko-de Jong
Dr Marie Lemy
Prophet N Anyanwu Cox
Special thanks to Errol Gibbs and Ryan O'Neil Knight, Canadian Black Empowerment Manifesto.