The African Group to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva has requested an urgent debate into racially inspired human rights violations in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police in the United States on May 25.

In a letter, the group calls for a discussion that will focus on systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests when the council resumes its work on June 15. Such a debate on these issues is a first for the Security Council’s five permanent members.

The letter states that the international outcry following the tragic events in Minneapolis, on Africa Day no less, stressed the urgency for the Council to discuss these issues, pointing to the fact that the brutality meted out to George Floyd was not an isolated incident.

The urgent dialogue is sought to address the structural and proximate causes of racial discrimination that prevails worldwide with a tremendous impact on the enjoyment of human rights especially for people of African descent.

The Africa Group says it hopes the discussion will chart the way forward and propose strategies on how different human rights mechanisms and relevant treaty bodies can improve their work to bring about tangible results on the end of racial discrimination and in cooperation with concerned countries.

Floyd’s death ignited a wave of protests across the United States and cities in other countries against racism and the systematic mistreatment of black people, reinvigorating the Black Lives Matter movement.

The case also thrust the administration of President Donald Trump into a political crisis.

In this video, activists call for justice in George Floyd’s murder: