Basseterre, St. Kitts -Foreign Service Officer, Ms. Sonia Boddie recently had the privilege of having her work published in the December edition of the “Diplomacia” Magazine, of the Andres Bello Diplomatic Academy of Chile. The 116 page “Diplomacia” magazine which is entitled “Migration: Human and Political Challenges of a Global Issue” features Ms. Boddie’s essay on pages 95-97. The essay titled, “Is the International Decade for People of African Descent Sufficient?” is written in Spanish and provides a comprehensive analysis of the “International Decade for People of African Descent”, which has been declared by the United Nations for the period January 1st 2015 to December 31st, 2024.
In her essay, Ms. Boddie reflects on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and highlights some of what she considers “black consequences”, still suffered by people of African descent today, because of slavery. These include prejudice, xenophobia, inequality, discrimination and racism, which she suggests is the “greatest obstacle of them all”. To support her notion of “black consequences”, Boddie uses a quote from renowned Caribbean historian and professor Sir Hilary Beckles who once remarked “Millions of African descendants are still breathing the foul air that blows from the stench of slavery. Aspects of these legacies are as alive today, as they were two centuries ago.”
Ms. Boddie therefore questions, whether 10 years is sufficient to champion the cause for Recognition, Justice and Development for people of African descent, whose ancestors were enslaved for more than 400 years. She acknowledges that the International Decade is “a step in the right direction, but it is not enough.” She sheds light on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which speaks to the fact that every human being was “born free and equal in dignity and rights”.
Boddie demonstrates her support for Reparations in her article noting, “the demand for reparations is undoubtedly valid and legitimate” and highlights the work of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, through its CARICOM Reparations Commission and the CARICOM Ten Point Action Plan for Reparations, which was approved by CARICOM Heads of Government. She asserts, “reparations consistent with those outlined in the CARICOM Ten Point Action Plan for Reparations, would be a game changer for people of African descent” and that “reparations for people of African descent means much more than writing us a check for a few million, pounds, euros or American dollars.” Boddie concluded the article by noting, her dream is that “every citizen of this planet would endeavor to respect the inherent dignity of all persons and afford each other equal rights and justice, so that we can all live in peace and harmony on this planet, as we strive to build a better world for generations to come.”
Foreign Service Officer, Ms. Sonia Boddie recently graduated from the Andres Bello Diplomatic Academy of Chile, having spent two and half months in the capital city of Santiago, completing the International Diplomacy course for diplomats, which was funded by The Government of the Republic of Chile.
Ms. Boddie’s essay can be read in the magazine online at http://www.apuntesinternacionales.cl/revista-diplomacia-diciembre-2015-migracion-desafios-humanos-y-politicos/.