Reparatory justice is a priority for CARICOM heads of government – CARICOM Secretary-General

Dr Carla Barnett, Secretary-General, CARICOM, shared that reparations from Europe for the crimes against humanity of native genocide, the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans and chattel enslavement in the Region is a priority for CARICOM Heads of Government.

The Secretary-General spoke via a video message at the ACCRA Reparations Conference, convened today, 14 November 2023, at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra, Ghana.  The Conference is intended to facilitate meaningful discussions and knowledge sharing among experts, policymakers, academics, and stakeholders on the topic of reparations for historical injustices such as colonialism, apartheid, and slavery.

The theme of the Conference is “Building a United Front to Advance the Cause of Justice and the Payment of Reparations to Africans”.

Critical stakeholders 

Legal experts, policymakers, academics, and stakeholders from the Caribbean Region, Reparations Commissions-Americas and the Caribbean, the UN System, California Reparations Task Force, African Civil Society organisations, and Regional Economic Communities of African Union (AU) Member States and Diaspora Focal Points are attending the Conference, which will conclude on 17 November.

Moving the Reparations Justice Agenda Forward 

In her message, Dr Barnett emphasised that CARICOM Heads of Government agree that collaboration with Africa on reparations is critical to moving the reparations justice agenda further forward.  “They have expressed their full support for the convening of the Accra Reparations Conference as a strategic and prime opportunity to forge a common, collaborative agenda between the Caribbean and Africa on reparations”, stated the Secretary-General.

She explained that in this context, CARICOM welcomed the update that the African Union is also seeking to develop a common position on reparations and a roadmap for future collaboration with the African diaspora on reparatory justice.  “The Accra Reparations Conference is, therefore, timely to facilitate dialogue on the reparations agenda,” added Dr Barnett.

CARICOM – AU Cooperation 

Recent meetings of CARICOM Heads of Government have tabled important proposals for cooperation with the African Union on reparations.  “They would welcome collaboration to co-sponsor a resolution on reparations at the United Nations, to signal our joint commitment and our position that reparatory justice ought to receive due consideration by the United Nations”, underscored Dr Barnett.

International Court of Justice 

She further highlighted that Heads of Government propose to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice, through the United Nations General Assembly.  “We invite the African Union to join us in this campaign”, stated the Secretary-General, “We are also working to have reparations included on the agenda of key meetings of intergovernmental bodies.  We hope that we can establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate cooperation on reparations between CARICOM and Africa, including the proposed joint CARICOM-African Union committee of legal experts.”

Dr Barnett stated that CARICOM welcomes the establishment and excellent advocacy, consultative and research initiatives of the UN Permanent Forum on People of African Descent and anticipates deepening collaboration with this body, which includes two distinguished CARICOM representatives.

Deepening Cooperation 

She shared that CARICOM-Africa cooperation has increased in several areas following the First CARICOM-Africa Summit of Heads of Government held in September 2021.  “AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forums have been held in Barbados and Guyana in 2022 and 2023, respectively.  The AU-ECOSOCC Study Tour on Reparations was held in Barbados in July 2023.  The Caribbean Community has also participated in the Reparations and Racial Healing Summit in August 2022 in Ghana and welcomes the increased focus on the return of stolen cultural property to both the Caribbean and Africa,” emphasised the Secretary-General.

She concluded by urging stakeholders to seize the moment and ensure that CARICOM, Africa and others from the diaspora speak with one voice to advance the just and strong call for reparations for the crimes against humanity of native genocide, the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans and chattel enslavement.

Click below to watch the full message.



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  1. Local observer
    November 21, 2023

    @Admin. Points taken.
    However, that’s what Lupita and I were taught by the colonizers that shut down all our educational and religious systems for over 400years, re-wrote her history and drilled those myths into us all.

    It wasn’t pretty, movies are movies. Those narratives are myths, the bible (ham, Charlton Heston as Moses etc.) are pushed by descendants of colonizers who ‘taught’ her that despite similarities in design and construction of those dark dungeons and shackles along the coasts, to European castles and shackles of their 500yrs war, that her people build those and the misery. I would refuse to act in such plays.
    They also taught us that all African resources were given to them by chiefs, kings, tribes, with signatures.

    Those myths have been put into proper perspective over years of research published by our ancestors. I encourage you to look for contributions by Dr. Clarke, Dr. James Smalls and others when you search for the story behind the storey.

  2. Stan Goldman
    November 20, 2023

    ‘Local Observer’ speaks like someone who will never believe anything that does not align with the dislike of non dark/brown/skins because it will invalidate the reasons for such dislike. But one cannot change the facts of history whether that history is good or bad.
    The question then becomes are we going to sit and live in the past begging Europeans and others for handouts for past wrongs while blaming the historcal slave trade for present lack of ambition and underacheivment or work hard and acheive and set a good foundation for our children and thier peers? This later option however involves vision, hard work and wisdom . . .

  3. Local observer
    November 20, 2023

    @Admin, that’s also what we were all taught. We have addressed this and I have assured you that Dr. Chancellor James Williams is my hero for the 20 years of research put into this epic book. However, exhaust from the 20 years of tedious work he admittedly relied on the accounts of one Jan Vessina, a Portugese historian, for oral traditions. Jan dove almost immediately into Africans selling each other, a new tribe of Dahomey ruthless in slavery etc. I read Dr. Clarke, Dr James Smalls and others who disputed these as not being factual, lies.

    There were pockets of rogues but slavery of their own people didn’t exist, it was indentured servitude, some paid their debt and became chiefs, kings, restored. There were greedy individuals but not the norm. Africans fought slavery with everything they had. Please YouTube or read Prof. James Smalls, a protégé of Dr. Williams for eye-openers and more on these and other lies by their people who had axe to grind.

    ADMIN: You are mistaken, and in parts relying on hyperbolic half-truths which we have addressed before.

    Williams did not spend 20 years researching, he had a lifetime of academic experience including in Africa, but he spent about 2 years in Africa specifically researching for his book. During that time he visited 26 countries where he examined oral and written histories where possible. He did not depend solely on Jan Vessina’s accounts nor did he need to.

    There are people in Benin today who are descendants of those kidnapped by the Dahomey still affected by the legacy of the brutal raids of the past inflicted by their own. Among these descendants there are those who have maintained family accounts independent of any European telling of their history.

    The plot of the relatively recent movie “Woman King” was vastly fiction and presented an idealized version that diminished or deleted Dahomey’s role in the slave trade. Lupita Nihongo walked away from the role she had in the movie and featured in her own documentary that stays closer to the historical facts. At one point Nihongo breaks down in tears after hearing the actual accounts of the history. You can view the scene here:

    In a similar fashion to Dr. Williams, you can start your research in Benin by working to challenge your views with inconvenient truths instead of comforting lies.

    You may find that African history is not spotless but still vastly impressive.

  4. James
    November 17, 2023

    Well Mrs Barnett you can start by calling on CARICOM chairman, Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, to pay reparations to the people of Dominica, by returning the billions in passports revenue siphoned from the Dominican treasury…

  5. Matt
    November 17, 2023

    Ok, and you are the tooth fiery.

    They have acknowledged, apologized and begun paying. Do you want to be the chief of returning the payments negro? Stay in your Skeritt lane where you belong.

  6. Just Asking
    November 16, 2023

    @Stan Goldman & Lin below: I’m quite sure you are blacker than tar, that’s what you all do best, then stand behind the Trump for photo ops.
    Isn’t this something for the people who committed those atrocities to worry about?

    Some have already begun paying.. St. Vincent, California, Jesuit priests of Brown U and Georgetown U etc.etc all acknowledged a dept due, except you two and klansmen in U.S Federal government. It’s the only way to even the wealth gap, reparations.

    You have this media platform to do something for your people. Are you going to stand in the way when they have slowly started paying?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
    • Stan Goldman
      November 19, 2023

      Not sure what Trump has to do with anything? Some token guesture in the US state of California, beset with rampant homelessness and tent dwellers under bridges is irrelevent to the fact that Europeans, specifically the United Kingdom will never be handing out free money to you and your kind . . .

  7. Stan Goldman
    November 15, 2023

    I’m from the Caribbean. Grew up there. I also lived in Dominica for a number of years. I now live in the UK. I can tell you right now, that the Caribbean is living in cloud Coo Coo Land if they think that the people of Europe, facing day to day pressures on thier finanaces from a risng cost of living, reductions in the services that they get from the local goverment, cuts to benifits and wages etc are going to sit back and allow their hard earned tax dollars (20% income tax) to be handed out for past wrongs over 200 years ago of which they themselves did not commit. This is so funny. The prospect of ‘free’ money makes everyone’s eys bulge big but its not goinna happen, not from the UK anyway. I genuinly find this hilarious . . .

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4
    • Lin clown
      November 15, 2023

      Well said, I agree. There’s no reason why the people of Europe today should pay reparations for something they had nothing to do with. Africans owned slaves, Ottomans owned slaves, Arabs owned slaves, Romans owned slaves, Egyptians owned slaves, Babylonians and everybody else owned slaves. Why? Because whether people like it or not, it was considered normal in the past & still is in some places. Why do people always single out the transatlantic slave trade but not all the other slavery? Why should todays Europeans pay for something that happened hundreds of years before they were born but nobody else should? Where do people draw the line? The fact is, the only fact people that I ever hear begging for reparations are black people that are too lazy to work hard, so they instead beg for free handouts. I personally don’t care about reparations but if the Europeans are forced to pay it, then so should the Africans that sold us in the first place & benefited with money, clothes, alcohol, power, land etc

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
      • Local observer
        November 16, 2023

        Then “you” particularly, do not have a problem, good for you. It’s not a Skeritt thing. No wonder you support the same reparations for the European Jewish, today a super power all because of reparations, is that what you’re scared of? Be brave!
        Simply stand aside, both of you. Or, STAND WITH YOUR PEOPLE !

        Too Many BLACK COLLABORATORS in white-supremacy.
        You do not see the white Jews doing that, do you?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
      • Local observer
        November 18, 2023

        It never happened. Black people have never sold black people into slavery.
        It only happened at the pens of European historians and missionaries with their agenda, bloated with the conquest of Africa and you f Africans. You need to read. Read Dr. John Henrik Clarke books and research on these lies. You’ll only find well stocked shops with everything Europeans needed. They could have gotten more out of Africa in trade and education.

        ADMIN: Local observer,

        We have addressed this persistent falsehood that Africans never sold black people into slavery several times on this forum.

        Dr. Chancellor James Williams, a black author and historian dissatisfied with the false narratives within European history (and the false narratives in black history) wrote about these facts relying on many (black) sources from within Africa in his book “the Destruction of Black Civilization”. Dr. Williams was also a contemporary of Dr. Clarke and spent some of his time (and his book) addressing false narratives held within the black community. He was concerned about addressing all falsehood, not “white” falsehoods or “black” falsehoods.

        It is a fact that slavery existed for many years in Africa in various forms before chattel slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Some Africans traded their own to the European slavers during the time of the trans -Atlantic slave trade and forms of slavery still exist in Africa and parts of the globe today.

        There are many other sources of evidence (Non-European and European in origin) that Africans actively engaged in the slave trade. Dahomey ,now Benin, by its own historical account became very powerful and wealth for a time by rigorously engaging in the kidnapping and selling of Africans to European slave traders and their agents.

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