General Assembly endorses construction of Permanent Memorial to honour slave trade victims; PGA lauds action

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John Ashe

The UN General Assembly this week adopted a resolution endorsing the construction at UN Headquarters of a permanent memorial to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. And it encouraged Member States and other interested parties to contribute to the Trust Fund set up to pay for it.

The Assembly also took note of the Secretary-General's report on the educational outreach programme on slavery and the slave trade, aimed at increasing public awareness, educating future generations and communicating the dangers of racism and prejudice, and asked the Secretary-General to report at its sixty-ninth session on continued action to implement the programme.

The Assembly also asked the Secretary-General to organize a series of activities annually to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and requested that the Department of Public Information continue appropriate steps to enhance global public awareness of the commemorative activities and facilitate efforts to erect the Permanent Memorial.

Assembly President John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) noting that the year 2013 marked the 206th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, said that the Assembly's engagement with the question of slavery and the slave trade continued with the current resolution, as Member States recommitted to raising public awareness about the legacy of this dark period in human history.

” Since the UN began consideration of this item, there have been numerous initiatives at the national and international level dedicated to the noble goals of remembering and honouring all the victims of this monstrously inhuman practice. Through their various efforts Member States, UN agencies and civil society partners have celebrated the indomitable spirit of the victims of a tragedy that continues to be inflicted upon numerous persons today, albeit in more subtle forms, including social and economic inequality, hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice.”

General Assembly President John Ashe said that in addition to helping ensure that the past was remembered and never repeated, these activities also highlighted the many, often overlooked, contributions of enslaved Africans to their economies and communities.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 2’18″

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