Jamaica and Cuba hail the Assembly's resolution endorsing erection of monument in honour of victims of slaveryListen /
The representative of Jamaica, Ambassador Courtney Rattray introducing the draft resolution, noted that the global community condemned the contemptible and barbaric history of slavery, and renewed its pledge to ensure nothing like it happened again.
” The aim of the resolution is not only to endorse the erection of the monument. Though that in itself is an admirable accomplishment in honor of the victims of slavery, we consider that the more important aspect in the resolution is the one that calls for broad education and outreach to disseminate information to the global public on the history and impact of slavery. The aim is to influence modern social norms in a way that rejects racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and prejudice, and promotes healing, tolerance and respect for diversity. “
Some speakers, notably Cuba's representative, emphasized the contributions of African slaves and their descendants. Cuba was indebted to its African ancestors for their wisdom, creativity, adaptability to adverse environments, the richness of their stories and religious beliefs, and more importantly, the spirit of rebellion against injustice and unwavering courage in the struggle for independence and freedom. Freed slaves and their descendants had been major players in the different stages of the wars that led to the Cuban people exercising their self determination.
He also pointed out that developed countries had been the main beneficiaries of colonization, slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. The time had come for those countries to settle their debt to humanity, he said, supporting the request for reparations put forward by the Caribbean Community.
This is Donn Bobb reporting.