Slavery one of the "darkest chapters" in history of mankind

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Detail of “The Ark of Return”. The memorial was designed by architect Rodney Leon. UN File Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Described as one of the "darkest chapters" in the history of mankind, UN member states met Wednesday to commemorate the end of the transatlantic slave trade.

The plenary meeting was organized under the theme "Women and Slavery", as the UN marked the 200th anniversary of the end of slavery and the slave trade.

Daniel Dickinson has the story.

The theme "Women and Slavery" was chosen by the General Assembly in recognition of the unique struggles enslaved women face. 

Women are also credited with playing an instrumental role in helping to preserve and pass on the cultural traditions that form such an important part of the African diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean.

Opening the meeting, the President of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft said it was important to reflect on the tragedy of the slave trade this year

"Slavery remains one of the darkest chapters in our past and on this 70th anniversary year, it is timely that we recommit ourselves to raising public awareness about its legacy of unprecedented horror."

Earlier this year, a permanent memorial to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade was installed on the grounds of UN headquarters in New York.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 59″

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