United Nations

CERD/C/SR.2715

International Convention on the Elimination of A ll Forms of Racial Discrimination

Distr.: General

1 May 2019

Original: English

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Ninety-eighth session

Summary record of the 2715th meeting

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on Thursday, 25 April 2019, at 3 p.m.

Chair:Mr. Amir

Contents

Consideration of reports, comments and information submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention (continued)

Combined sixteenth and seventeenth periodic reports of Guatemala

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.

Consideration of reports, comments and information submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention (continued)

Combined sixteenth and seventeenth periodic reports of Guatemala (CERD/C/GTM/16-17; CERD/C/GTM/Q/16-17)

1. At the invitation of the Chairperson, the delegation of Guatemala took places at the Committee table.

2.Ms. Domínguez Sebastián (Guatemala), introducing the combined sixteenth and seventeenth periodic reports of Guatemala (CERD/C/GTM/16-17), said that the Presidential Commission on Discrimination and Racism against Indigenous Peoples (CODISRA), which had been established in 2002 and of which she was the Coordinating Commissioner, was the State body responsible for, inter alia, the elaboration and monitoring of policies to combat racism and racial discrimination and the preparation of reports to the Committee. The current report, which reflected the measures to promote human rights taken by the legislative, executive and judicial branches and the Constitutional Court, had been drawn up through a participatory and inclusive process involving 55 institutions.

3.Analyses of the twelfth national population census and the seventh housing census had recently been conducted, and the preliminary results would be published in September 2019. In the design and implementation of the census, high priority had been given to a gender-based approach, and the right to self-identification in terms of membership of a particular people and linguistic community had been promoted and systematically applied. The response option of “Afrodescendant/Creole/Afro-Mestizo” had been introduced for the first time.

4.With regard to the legal, institutional and public policy framework for combating racial discrimination, the Peace Secretariat of the Office of the President had elaborated the Policy Agenda for Peace 2017–2026, with a view to reviewing and rescheduling pending commitments under the 1996 Peace Agreements. Under its Strategic Institutional Plan 2016–2022, the Indigenous Development Fund of Guatemala (FODIGUA) was implementing programmes on indigenous and ancestral authorities, technological and educational resources, and training for empowerment and engagement in good living (“buen vivir”). FODIGUA had produced a conceptual guide that identified budgetary structures for institutional action on behalf of indigenous peoples.

5.In 2018, the Office for the Defence of Indigenous Women’s Rights (DEMI) had provided legal support for 3,486 indigenous women and psychosocial support for 5,157 women. Fourteen information days on the prevention of violence, attended by 1,608 indigenous women, had been organized to promote new forms of coexistence and respect for Mayan, Garifuna and Xinka women at the family and community levels. DEMI’s budget for 2019 had been increased by 7.36 per cent. The Special Cabinet for Social Development was tasked with managing policies under the “K’atun, Nuestra Guatemala 2032” National Development Plan aimed, inter alia, at reducing inequality among vulnerable population groups. A technical committee, coordinated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, was continuing to implement the agenda set by the Indigenous Peoples and Intercultural Affairs Office, which included the development of procedures to facilitate consultation with indigenous peoples, in compliance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169).

6.With regard to the situation of indigenous peoples and people of African descent, the national policy on agriculture included components on land dispute settlement and legal security. The Constitutional Court had ruled that ministerial authorization of the leasing of property in the public domain for implementation of the Oxec and Oxec II hydroelectric plant projects without consulting the indigenous community was unlawful. The Court had called on the Guatemalan Congress to incorporate the right to prior consultation in the legislative process. Two initiatives had been referred, with that end in view, to the Congressional Committee on Labour and the Congressional Committee on Indigenous Peoples and Constitutional Matters. In another recent case, Juan Bosco and El Escobal, the Constitutional Court had recognized in its judgment the right of indigenous peoples to participate in the development, implementation and assessment of economic, social and cultural development plans and programmes that could affect them. It had also ruled that their values, practices and institutions should be respected. Consultations with the Mayan Ixil communities of San Juan Cotzal had been launched in 2016 and the dialogue had resulted in more than 18 agreements. The Ministry of Energy and Mining had engaged in consultations with the Mayan Q’eqchi’ people pursuant to the Constitutional Court judgment in the Oxec and Oxec II case. Responsibility for implementing the agreements reached would be borne jointly by the Ministry and the enterprises and communities concerned, with the support of the Office of the Human Rights Advocate.

7.The National Decent Work Policy 2017-2032 sought to promote equitable labour conditions and to reduce poverty and inequality, especially among indigenous peoples and in rural areas. The General Labour Inspectorate was mandated to oversee compliance with the Labour Code and to investigate complaints. It had considered 1,991 complaints during the period from 2015 to 2018. Two cases concerning labour exploitation had been considered by the courts in Guatemala city in 2018. The Adolescent Worker Protection Unit of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare organized awareness-raising campaigns concerning labour rights and obligations and the problem of child labour, in coordination with the National Commission for the Eradication of Child Labour. The Schools Meals Act, adopted in 2017, provided for the budgetary allocation per child to be doubled, with a focus on cultural relevance and community participation.

8.On the question of the participation of indigenous peoples and people of African descent in political and public life, pursuant to the Urban and Rural Development Councils Act, 30 assemblies had been held in linguistic communities in 2018 for the election of representatives of indigenous peoples to the departmental development councils. The Indigenous Peoples Committee established by the National Urban and Rural Development Council played a cross-cutting role in the implementation of the National Development Plan.

9.The Ministry of Culture and Sports played an active role in the expert committee established jointly with the Congressional Committee on Culture and Garifuna civil society. It had supported the election of representatives of the Garifuna people to the departmental development councils in 2016 and 2018. The Ministry had also supported meetings of the National Council of Garifuna and Afrodescendants held to develop activities to mark the International Decade for People of African Descent.

10.The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders had visited the country in February 2018 and helped to produce the draft public policy on the protection of human rights defenders which, following its approval by civil society, would be submitted for adoption to the Presidential Commission for Coordinating Executive Policy in the Field of Human Rights.

11.To promote access to justice and indigenous jurisdiction, the Care for Vulnerable Persons Unit had been established by the Constitutional Court in 2018. In addition, a policy on access to justice for vulnerable persons had been developed, in order to identify vulnerable groups and produce disaggregated data on access to services. Agreements had been concluded with the Academy of Mayan Languages of Guatemala and other bodies to provide interpretation for public hearings into Mayan, Garifuna, Xinka, Afrodescendent and other languages. In addition, the Constitution had been translated into the Kaqchikel, Mam, Ixil and Garifuna languages and Braille.

12.The Constitutional Court had signed an agreement with CODISRA on the incorporation in its judgments of an approach based on the human rights of indigenous peoples. In 2018, more than 11,000 court hearings had been held in indigenous languages in different parts of the country. During the same year, two national meetings had been held between indigenous authorities and justice officials, to discuss issues such as conflicts of jurisdiction and to share experience under the indigenous and ordinary legal systems. With regard to transitional justice, during the period from 2011 to 2018, the courts had considered and handed down judgments in 10 cases concerning human rights violations committed during the armed conflict.

13.According to the Centre for Judicial Information, Development and Statistics, 491 judgments in cases concerning violence against women had been handed down between 2017 and 2019. The Supreme Court of Justice had approved a protocol for the provision of assistance to indigenous women in accessing justice in 2016. Judicial personnel had also been trained to guarantee access to justice for indigenous women and children as vulnerable groups, and a Mayan language training programme for the judiciary had just been launched. The National Office for Women’s Affairs had promoted an initiative concerning ratification of the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), which was currently on its second reading in Congress. The Constitutional Court had declared the general unconstitutionality of article 11 of the Handicraft Protection and Development Act in response to an action by indigenous women, on the ground that it ignored specific organizational structures and ancestrally inherited intellectual property in indigenous communities.

14.With the aim of combating racial discrimination, CODISRA had referred 51 cases of discrimination to the Public Prosecution Service in 2017. Strategic litigation committees had been established in a number of bodies since 2017 to provide support for judicial proceedings in cases involving discrimination. During the period from 2013 to 2018, CODISRA had developed training courses and organized numerous events, including the National Conference on Racism and Discrimination. The training courses had been attended by 2,189 women and 1,853 men, including 308 Mayan women and 579 Mayan men. The courses had focused on international instruments concerning the rights of indigenous peoples and the fight against racism and racial discrimination. Two self-identification campaigns had been conducted in 2018, and a campaign concerning the right of complaint was currently under way.

15.Ms. Ochoa Escribá (Guatemala) said that article 46 of the Constitution stipulated that human rights instruments ratified by Guatemala had primacy over domestic law. The Constitutional Court had handed down judgments on legal pluralism, the indigenous legal system, consultations in line with ILO Convention No. 169, the cultural dimensions of health, and intellectual property rights. The Court had underscored the need to recognize legal pluralism by promoting coordination of official law, indigenous law and international human rights standards. Lack of knowledge of the indigenous justice system, together with the criminalization of acts by indigenous peoples’ authorities, could generate social conflicts and undermine governance.

16.With regard to the indigenous legal system, the Court had ruled that the Constitution was violated when an authority ignored the existence of indigenous law and instituted judicial proceedings against an indigenous person who had been tried for the same acts by traditional authorities, in accordance with the customs prevailing in his or her culture.

17.Mr. Avtonomov (Country Rapporteur) welcomed the fact that the Constitutional Court’s judgments were fully in line with the principles enshrined in the Convention. The Committee would appreciate additional concrete examples of the legal reasoning involved.

18.The Committee noted that the Policy Agenda for Peace 2017-2026 included 118 commitments under the Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous People. Only 25 of those commitments had been fully met, 56 had been partially met and the remainder had not been met. He would be grateful for information about the measures being taken to meet all the commitments and about how indigenous peoples and their representatives were involved in the process.

19.According to the Office of the Public Attorney for Indigenous Peoples, a proposed amendment to the National Reconciliation Act would provide impunity for serious human rights violations during the armed conflict. He would be interested in hearing whether any parties in Congress had opposed the amendment, which could undermine the Peace Agreements.

20.Section 3.1 of the 2015-2019 Strategic Plan of the Public Prosecution Service provided for closer coordination with the indigenous authorities in dealing with cases under the indigenous and formal justice systems. The Committee would be grateful for information on specific judicial rulings in which indigenous peoples’ customary law had been taken into account. It would also be useful to know who was responsible for interpreting such customs and legislation in a formal judicial setting, since very few relevant legal texts were available.

21.He would welcome an indication of the steps taken by the State party to ensure that its labour inspectors could do their work, in particular in the agricultural sector, as there had been reports of forced labour on oil-palm plantations. The delegation should also comment on reports that recent amendments to the Labour Code had led to restrictions on the work of the country’s labour inspectors and were thus incompatible with such international instruments as the ILO Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129), to which Guatemala was a party.

22.He wondered whether the State party could provide additional information on the measures taken within the framework of the National Strategy for the Prevention of Chronic Malnutrition. In particular, he wished to know more about the impact of the Strategy on indigenous children. He also asked what steps had been taken to facilitate access to justice for indigenous persons with disabilities, as had been recommended by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2016.

23.Reports that the authorities, acting on flimsy pretexts, had cracked down on community radio stations broadcasting in indigenous languages were troubling. Also troubling were reports that the State party frequently failed to organize consultations with indigenous peoples with a view to obtaining their free, prior and informed consent for economic development and other projects or policies likely to make an impact on their lives. He was eagerly awaiting the publication of the results of the recent census and was glad that census respondents had been given the opportunity to report that they were of African or Afro-Mestizo descent.

24.Ms. Ochoa Escribá (Guatemala), referring to consultations in line with ILO Convention No. 169, said that the scope of the decision of the Constitutional Court in the case concerning the Oxec and Oxec II hydroelectric projects on the Cahabón River had been atypically broad, as the Court’s ruling was binding on authorities not targeted in the initial application for amparo (protection of rights), which had been submitted by indigenous communities who were of the view that they had not been properly consulted on the projects in question. The ruling, which had been handed down in part because there was no legal framework for consultation processes, helped ensure that there would be no future failures to hold community consultations on such projects. As part of the ruling, the Ministry of Energy and Mining had been required to develop a consultation procedure to be used not only for the hydroelectric projects on the Cahabón River but also for any other projects undertaken before a law regulating consultation procedures could be adopted. The Court had also ordered Congress to begin the process of adopting such a law. Lawmakers were currently considering two draft bills on the prior consultation of indigenous peoples.

25.Another recent case heard by the Court had concerned the right to culturally sensitive health care. In her concurring opinion, she had written that measures should be taken to strengthen the ties between ancestral health practices and the public health system. Yet another case had concerned the need to protect the intellectual property of indigenous peoples, such as the ancestral knowledge that had led to the development of a unique style of dress.

26.Mr. Murillo Martínez said that it would be interesting to know more about how the rulings of the Constitutional Court contributed to the development of legal precepts. It would also be interesting to learn whether the Constitutional Court had considered the potentially counter-majoritarian nature of the exercise, by indigenous peoples and people of African descent, of their fundamental right to prior consultation, which was sometimes viewed as an obstacle to development. In addition, it would be helpful to know how many consultation processes there had been in the State party, for which projects they had been undertaken, and how many agreements they had led to. He wondered what was the status of the draft bills on the right to free, prior and informed consent, and whether those drafts had been informed by consultations with interested parties. Lastly, he would welcome information on the situation of human rights defenders in the State party, in particular those defending the rights of indigenous peoples and persons of African descent.

27.Mr. Kut, speaking in his capacity as Follow-up Coordinator, said that the punctuality of the interim report submitted by the State party in May 2016, one year after the Committee’s concluding observations (CERD/C/GTM/CO/14-15) had been made public, was commendable. The State party’s account of its efforts to give effect to the recommendations contained in paragraph 8 of the concluding observations, on the urgent need to improve the collection of disaggregated data, was unsatisfactory, however. No information on any such measures could be found in the State party’s latest combined periodic reports, either. The recent census was a welcome development in that regard.

28.The information provided in reply to the Committee’s request to indicate the steps that had been taken to give effect to the recommendations contained in paragraph 9 of the concluding observations, in which the State party had been urged to, inter alia, give priority to the adoption of laws on combating racial discrimination and promoting the rights of indigenous peoples, had also been found to be unsatisfactory. The combined periodic reports currently under consideration also failed to indicate the efforts that had been made to give effect to those recommendations.

29.A proper evaluation of the measures taken by the State party to ensure that it had acted on the recommendations made by the Committee in paragraph 16 of its concluding observations would also require information more specific than that provided in its combined sixteenth and seventeenth periodic reports (CERD/C/GTM/16-17, para. 58), in which a general reference was made to the Decentralization Act, the Urban and Rural Development Councils Act and the Municipal Code, and their promotion of the participation of indigenous persons in public affairs, in line with the principle of national, multi-ethnic, pluricultural and multilingual unity. Lastly, it would be interesting to know why, as had been acknowledged by the State party (ibid., para. 68), there was a clear lack of political will to adopt amendments to the Electoral and Political Parties Act that would strengthen civil society, political parties and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and whether anything could be done to overcome that lack of will.

30.Mr. Albuquerque e Silva said that he would welcome information from the delegation on the State party’s efforts to combat the hate crimes to which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons often fell victim because of their sexual orientation. He would be interested in hearing the Government’s view of a bill on the protection of life and the family that contained a number of troubling provisions, including one that would prohibit educational institutions from suggesting that anything other than heterosexual sexual behaviour was normal, and another stating explicitly that freedom of thought meant that no one could be forced to consider non-heterosexual behaviour normal. Lastly, he asked what public policies had been formulated to combat the multiple forms of discrimination, including racial and sex discrimination, that a person could be subjected to at the same time.

31.Ms. Mohamed said that she wished to know what justified the forced sterilization of women with disabilities in the State party, whether those women could sue to prevent the sterilization or obtain redress for it and, if so, how many such lawsuits had been brought and what the outcome of the suits had been. She also wished to know whether indigenous workers in the informal sector were protected by the State party’s labour laws and thus entitled to a minimum wage and social insurance.

32.Mr. Diaby asked how many missing women had been found as a result of the entry into force of the Immediate Search for Missing Women Act, what policies had been put in place to provide redress to missing women who had been found, and what had happened to their captors or abductors. In view of reports of killings committed by police officers, he would welcome information on the steps that were being taken to build the capacity of the police to conduct public-order operations in such a way that indigenous peoples and people of African descent could demonstrate or otherwise express their views in public without coming under threat.

33.He wondered whether the media were penalized for perpetuating stereotypes – about indigenous people or people of African descent, for example – and, if so, whether the delegation could provide any examples of penalties imposed for that reason. He also wondered how visible the State party’s racial minorities were in its public media. In addition, he would welcome a description of the legal framework for addressing hate speech in the media.

34.He wished to know whether compensation was provided to a person whose land was expropriated, whether the work of the General Labour Inspectorate, in particular in the agricultural sector, was audited, and whether steps had been taken to ensure that indigenous people, women in particular, had access to health services provided in their languages. It would be interesting to learn whether there was a special policy that made it easier for persons with disabilities from minority groups to obtain employment in the public sector.

35.Mr. Yeung Sik Yuen said that he wished to know whether bill No. 5179, on the recognition of legal pluralism in indigenous communities, had become law and, if so, who decided what judicial functions ancestral indigenous authorities could exercise, and whether any cases resolved by those authorities had undergone constitutional review. In short, it would be interesting to know whether the recognition of an ancestral system of justice, if indeed such a system had been recognized, had been successful.

36.He wondered how the mechanism provided for by the Immediate Search for Missing Women Act improved on the previous means of activating such searches and, like a fellow Committee member, how many missing women had been found since the adoption of the Act. Lastly, he asked whether there had been any recent developments in the case brought by indigenous women against the Canadian firm Hudbay Minerals.

37.Ms. Izsák-Ndiaye asked what steps the State party planned to take to make its weak institutions more robust and to ensure that there were open channels of communication between civil society and the Government. She also asked how the State party planned to ensure that indigenous peoples were more strongly represented in decision-making positions, and what measures it planned to take to enable them to institute individual and collective legal proceedings more easily. She would welcome additional information on plans to establish a Garifuna development institute and on the means whereby indigenous peoples were encouraged to assert their identities. In that connection, it would be interesting to know what steps would be taken to ensure that the State party’s institutions were in a position to cater to the needs and aspirations of its indigenous peoples. Lastly, as the municipality of San José Acatempa had apparently been settled by Roma from Hungary and Spain, it would be interesting to learn about the Roma population in the State party.

38.Mr. Bossuyt said that he would appreciate further information regarding the system of substitute judges of the Constitutional Court. From the use of the term “conventionality control” in paragraph 15 of the combined sixteenth and seventeenth periodic reports, he understood that international conventions took precedence over national legislation, including the Constitution. The delegation should provide further information and clarifications in that regard.

39.The Migration Code seemed to place the right to emigrate and the right to immigrate on an equal footing, which was unusual. He would like the delegation to clarify whether the term “domestic law” in paragraph 73 of the combined periodic reports referred to the Migration Code. If not, he would welcome specific examples of that legislation and an indication of whether it might be used to restrict the right to emigrate. The implications of the recognition of “the right of all persons to emigrate and immigrate” were unclear. He would like the delegation to provide clarifications in that regard. He wondered what administrative restrictions were in place and whether social support was provided to persons immigrating to the country.

40.Mr. Tambriz y Tambriz (Guatemala) said that a member of Congress representing indigenous peoples had first participated in the parliament in 1984. There were currently 15 indigenous members of Congress, who directly represented indigenous populations. The Indigenous Peoples Committee had proposed several initiatives to Congress with a view to providing better support to indigenous communities. Those initiatives covered better recognition of minority populations, including indigenous peoples and populations of African descent, and the property rights of indigenous communities. Congress had formulated legislative proposals that would generally benefit indigenous peoples, covering labour rights, food security, indigenous customs, languages and dialects, non-discrimination and prior consultation. The legislative proposals on prior consultation were in line with ILO Convention No. 169. Congress was continuing to support and protect the best interests of indigenous communities and people of African descent, on the basis of articles 66 to 70 of the Constitution.

41.Mr. Flores Cruz (Guatemala) said that the Presidential Commission on Dialogue had been established in the spirit of openness and inclusivity, with a view to fostering productive and culturally appropriate dialogue. Its main aims were to coordinate and maintain a genuine dialogue between government institutions and indigenous peoples in order to address social unrest, thus contributing to the elimination of racism and discrimination in the country. As part of its prevention efforts, the Commission had strengthened the 16 departmental committees to prevent and address social conflict, in which indigenous peoples participated. The Commission had also developed, by means of a participative process, 11 departmental strategies to foster inclusive and culturally appropriate dialogue with indigenous peoples and minority populations. Those strategies covered relations with the ancestral indigenous authorities of the Mayan and Xinka populations, as well as of the Garifuna and Afrodescendent populations. Furthermore, the Commission was spearheading the development of a national dialogue policy, which would promote dialogue, respect, inclusion and intercultural relations. The Commission was also implementing two processes of dialogue for comprehensive and sustainable development, with a view to reaching agreements for a more equitable and inclusive future. The Government had received technical support from the German Agency for International Cooperation and the United Nations Development Programme for the promotion and development of dialogue in the country.

42.Since 2017, the Presidential Commission on Dialogue had held several dialogues on natural resources, prior consultation with indigenous peoples and requests for access to land. As a result, a framework agreement had been concluded with the Vice-President to the benefit of indigenous peoples in several areas of the Altiplano region. The Commission had also been taking action to address social conflict. Over 400 dialogues had been held to address high-impact social conflict issues. A further five strategic dialogue processes had been organized to address social conflict in a structural and systemic manner. Those dialogues had addressed the issues of electricity supply; evictions and occupations in protected areas; agro-industry, including palm oil, bananas and sugar cane; consultation with indigenous peoples; and the termination of property rights in the community of Yalcastán.

43.Mr. Similox Valiente (Guatemala) said that the Ministry of Social Development was responsible for public policies designed to improve the well-being of persons living in poverty and to guarantee the human rights of vulnerable populations, including indigenous peoples. The Government had previously worked on the basis of monetary indicators, with a focus on economic considerations. However, in February 2019, the Ministry had introduced multidimensional poverty indicators, which included health and food security; education; decent work; access to services; and housing. Data from surveys on living conditions and censuses were used to measure the indicators. The new indicators had been developed in the context of the National Development Plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Monetary and multidimensional indicators were vital tools for identifying the incidence of poverty, with a view to its reduction. Information on multidimensional poverty in indigenous populations influenced technical and political decision-making. In April 2019, the Special Cabinet for Social Development had decided that a mechanism for disaggregation by indigenous population should be included in the Ministry’s multi-annual agenda.

44.The Ministry was supporting social programmes for vulnerable populations, in line with article 5 (e) of the Convention. Those programmes provided nutritional assistance and health care to tens of thousands of families. Further programmes offered by the Secretariat for Food and Nutrition Security guaranteed the right to adequate food for indigenous peoples and the population of African descent. The Ministry had worked in collaboration with other government institutions to mitigate the impact of evictions. In 2017, a range of educational grants and scholarships had been introduced, with a view to preventing and combating the economic exploitation of indigenous children and young people.

45.Ms. Xitumul Piox (Guatemala) said that the Peace Secretariat worked with civil society and different government institutions to fulfil the commitments made by the Government in the Peace Agreements. In line with the Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Secretariat was continuing to provide technical support to the Commission for Sacred Sites and analysis of the legislative proposals regarding such sites, thus contributing to the free exercise of indigenous spirituality. The Secretariat had also developed an online course leading to a diploma on the culture of peace, from which over 7,000 people had graduated since 2016. The course included a module on the rights of indigenous populations.

46.Under the National Reparations Programme, measures had been implemented throughout the country, including financial compensation, investment in small businesses, health care and social rehabilitation. Over half of the beneficiaries of such measures had been indigenous women. The Secretariat had also made efforts to institutionalize action to counter discrimination against the most vulnerable communities, notably persons with disabilities.

47.Inter-institutional cooperation agreements had been concluded between the government bodies and departments involved in the implementation of the Peace Agreements, with a view to promoting the rights of indigenous people and a culture of peace. In the context of the International Decade for People of African Descent, commemorative activities had been organized and training on the Peace Agreements and a culture of peace had been planned for the Garifuna peoples. Training had also been provided through the National Women’s Forum on the Peace Agreements, including on the Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The meeting rose at 6 p.m.