Erecting a Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery responds to the need to honor the victims: CARICOM

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George Talbot

NARRATOR: The UN General Assembly, recommitting itself to honoring the victims of what several delegates called "the most tragic chapter in human history", adopted a resolution endorsing the construction at United Nations Headquarters of a permanent memorial to those who had suffered under the yoke of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade system.

By the terms of that consensus text, the Assembly stressed the importance of educating and informing current and future generations about the causes, consequences and lessons of slavery, and requested the Secretary-General to continue organizing activities related to the commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is held annually on 25 March.

The representative of Guyana, George Talbot, who introduced the resolution on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said the initiative of CARICOM Member States and the African Group to erect a Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade responds to the need at a global level to honor the victims of this most tragic chapter.

TAPE: Once completed, the Permanent Memorial will offer current and future generations the opportunity to contemplate and reflect on the horrors and indignity of the ignoble system of slavery and the untold human suffering which it engendered. It will also serve as a source of inspiration, a symbol of the indomitable spirit of human beings and their capacity to triumph over the worst forms of oppression and bigotry. With this in mind, CARICOM States reaffirm our commitment to the erection of the Permanent Memorial in a place of prominence at the United Nations Headquarters, that is easily accessible to delegates, UN staff and visitors.

NARRATOR: Talbot said the work of UNESCO to address the legacy of slavery while contributing to the restoration of dignity of the victims of slavery and the slave trade is clearly manifested in the Slave Route Project.

TAPE: It is well established that this inhuman system which led to the forced removal of millions of people over centuries from Africa to the Caribbean, the Americas, as well as to Europe, indeed, the largest forced displacement of human beings in history, has contributed today to continued economic underdevelopment, social inequalities, racial discrimination and prejudice. Mindful of the historical wrongs done to our peoples, our States are guided by the imperative to create just societies based on a people- centered approach to development and the rule of law. We therefore stress the need for continuing programmes at all levels to inculcate in future generations an understanding of the history of slavery and the slave trade, its consequences and the lessons to be drawn, lest we indeed forget.

NARRATOR: Charge d'Affaires George Talbot said CARICOM commended the Permanent Memorial Committee for the work done so far in implementation of the decision to erect the Permanent Memorial.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 3’05″

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December 2017
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