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The Ethio-Africa Diaspora Union Millennium Council (EADUMC) along with the Rastafari Youth Council of Jamaica (RYCJ) and Rastafari personalities from Academia and Law on October 29 & 30, 2018, took part in a specially designed United Nations (UN) Civil Society Training Workshop on International Human Rights Reporting Standards and Mechanisms related to Treaties & Conventions to specifically advance and actualize Community / State negotiations in accordance with Related Treaty Provisions. (See attachment)

It is the first time that the Rastafari Community in Jamaica has been represented through Civil Society Organizations to the UN since early 1960’s when the Right Honorable King Emmanuel Charles Edward, Creative Visionary and leader in the Nyahbinghi Order, had formally engaged UN mechanisms to deal with Racial Discrimination, and a variety of Human Rights violations against the Rastafari Community in the 1960’s. During this active period of protestation, International attorney Barrister Peter Evans who defended the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya represented him. (See attachment)

No Civil Society Reports or Individual Complaints to the various Conventions and Treaty Mechanisms related to a variety of Human Rights and Racial Discrimination that was transferred over to the Independent State by the Colonial Government in 1962, have been done even though records will show that the Rastafari Community had been targeted by the State from as early as 1937, just 7 years after Emperor Haile Sellassie 1st Grand Coronation in Ethiopia. All in the spotlight of Marcus Mosiah Garvey forthright ‘Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World’ presented at a UNIA Convention in New York, August 13th 1920, where the majority colonial League of Nations was founded on January 10th in the same year. The invasion of Ethiopia by Italy in 1934 was the cataclysm for the World War that lasted until 1945 which caused the formation of the United Nations on October 24th with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights being proclaimed on December 10th 1948.

Civil Society engagement with the UN is a hallmark of international Governance mechanisms. Jamaica has fielded two successful Human Rights organizations in, the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights and Jamaicans for Justice. EADUMC is looking to emulate these organizations on behalf of the Rastafari Community by becoming aware of and developing competency in the Treaty Reporting processes / Universal Periodic Review / Individual Complaint & Special Procedure Protocols, interacting with other Indigenous Civil Society. EADUMC has also applied for Consultative Status in the UN’s ECOSOC on June 2nd 2018.

This follows over 10 Years of activations by EADUMC in regards to advocacy incorporating UN Agencies standards in defining local policies towards Community Rights in Repatriation / Reparations and Intellectual Property Rights. Both these issues have gained National and Regional and International significance in Bilateral Trade & Societal Relations Regionally and with Africa. The Council has been engaged with several UN Agencies having incorporated and registered the Indigenous IP Protocols on Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expressions and Genetic Resources under the guidance of WIPO in 2007. Various engagements transpired with the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and IFCD program and consultative ICH Workshops since 2013 – the year EADUMC cemented its competence in Rastafari Community advocacy. Several MOU’s with State agencies, Community Intellectual Property Agreements, Regional Reparations Position Papers, a National Rastafari Exhibition and the First National Heritage Site at Pinnacle/St. Jago Heights. A 2013 Submission on Rastafari Rights in Ganja and 2 Draft Positions on the Dangerous Drugs Act in 2014 & 2015 informed a Position Paper to UNGASS in 2016. JIPO has been the most relevant State agency issuing Practice Notes on Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expressions & Genetic Resources in 2012 & 2015. A 10 Year Human Rights Compilation of these works was submitted to the relevant State Organizations and informs recommendations to and from the UN Human Rights Office. EADUMC activist advocacy and community registration mechanisms for the development and administration of Policy and Protocols, where marginalized or misrepresented is active in the area of providing Data Driven information vs. anecdotal evidence for enhanced benefit in reporting to the International Treaties will benefit the Community.(See attachment)

The first Community Treaty Report will be addressing the Convention To Eliminate Racial Discrimination (CERD) where an Alternative Report to bring Civil Society Data and opinions alongside the May 2018 Report by the State. It will highlight Reparations for the Rastafari Community; Cultural Policies amidst the structural inefficiencies in relation to IP; cultural rights and privileges in the Heritage, Tourism, Music, Ganja Industries and incorporation in Bilateral Trade Agreements with Africa. Jamaica has been signatory to CERD since 1966 and ratified June 4th 1971.

The second Treaty Report will be addressing the CCPR - International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights / CESCR - International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that Jamaica ratified on October 3rd 1975. These very similar UN Treaty Bodies will receive Data Reports on how the various continuing breaches in Cultural Rights marginalize the Rastafari Community showing direct cause and effect on the social and economic development of the Community. It will also highlight inconsistencies between individual rights and community rights that are often promoted to negative effect to Community developments.

Jamaica itself has been instrumental in the engagement and promotion of Human Rights through its establishment of the International Year for Human Rights in 1968 and the establishment of the oldest Human Rights NGO in the Caribbean – the Independent Jamaica Council of Human Rights, celebrating 50 Years of activism and Service.

A Press Conference on Tuesday November 20th, 2018 to deal with:
· Intellectual Property Rights Governance affecting Heritage, Tourism & Ganja Industry;
· Trademark violations with Snoop Dogg aka Calvin Broadus misuse of the title Snoop Lion subject to a Community Intellectual Property Contract with an unanswered Hearing at JIPO heading to the Supreme Court;
· Pinnacle Heritage Site Declaration subject to an un held Tribunal Hearing surrounding Monument (State Owned) vs. Heritage Site (Community Owned) delayed by Ministry of Culture;
· Suite Of Ganja Applications for Sacramental Licenses to the Minister of Justice subject to no responses since September 2016;
· Movement of the Rastafari Advisory Board from Minister of Justice to the Minister of Culture without addressing MOJ/Advisory Board issues of TOR, transparency & accountability;
· Ganja Applications under Jamaica / South Africa Bilateral – no responses since engagement from 2017;
· Rastafari Trust Fund marginalization by the State in the Coral Gardens Reparation announcements affecting the Rastafari Community forthright engagement in Rastafari Reparations and the Ganja Industry;
· Rastafari Exhibit at IOJ to develop – EADUMC authorization and Museum development marginalization;
· Rastafari Elders Rights – Marginalization of the Ancient Council;
· Why “Who Is Rasta?” questioning from Ministry Of Culture on behalf of the Ganja Sub-Committee.

We are partnered with the Hon. Ras Bunny Wailer's unveiling of The Wailers Statue on December 2nd, 2018 at Bournemouth Beach Park. This launches the UN Human Rights Week celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights spearheaded by the Faculty of Law / UWI Mona. The Faculty of Law will be presenting:
· Current Reports To & From Universal Periodic Reviews from CERD
· actions and strategies in relation to the 2018 Report to CERD;
· And the Country Visit of the Rapporteur on African Descendant Rights to Jamaica.
The EADUMC attended and queried the Panelists on the recent RJR/Gleaner Communications Group Town hall meeting on Thursday, November 1, 2018 re the Ganja industry at the Jamaica College. (See attachment)

For Further Info – Contact: 876-482-7571; 876-868-7863

Rastafari Millennium Council
Kingston Jamaica

Ras Tafari

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