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IDB calls for increased recognition for Afro-descendents in Latin America and the Caribbean

The President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, called on the international community to increase recognition and support for the Afro-descendent peoples in the region.

“Cultural expressions of all kinds constitute a necessary and integral condition for the economic and social development of the Latin American and Caribbean populations,” said Moreno. “Promoting inclusive cultural policies will allow us to establish the necessary bridges to incorporate Afro-descendents into the region’s development goals.”

Moreno spoke during a forum on culture and development to advance equality and racial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean held at the IDB today, on the 60th anniversary of the UN’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The forum focused on culture as a means to achieve social and economic inclusion of people of African descent in Latina America and the Caribbean.

The conference featured distinguished representatives of academia, the media, the public and private sector and international organizations. Discussions centered on the role of governments, civil society and mass communications as agents of change to find common ground on best practices in the promotion of cultural diversity and racial equality and to enhance future initiatives for inclusion in the region.

Key speakers included the Minister of Culture of Colombia, Paula Moreno Zapata; Ambassador Larry Palmer, President of the Inter-American Foundation; and Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States.

“Assuming our responsibility as a regional development organization, we hope this forum has stimulated a preliminary dialogue on the importance of recognizing cultural diversity in our region and the need to grant Afro-descendent population broader visibility toward the goal of a more inclusive vision of development,” said Moreno.

“In this sense, it is important to underline that development, different from the more limited concept of growth, can only materialize if equal opportunities are fostered,” he added. “Moreover, equal opportunities depend essentially on racial equality.”

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