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UN Hails Transatlantic Slave Trade Victims

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Top UN officials, including the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly on Monday paid tribute to the millions of men, women and children who suffered as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, one of most devastating chapters in human history.
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Addressing a commemorative meeting to mark the International Day of Remembrance of The Victims of Slavery and The Transatlantic Slave Trade, Assembly President Dennis Francis highlighted the harrowing journeys endured by millions during the so-called Middle Passage, emphasizing the stripping of their identities and dignity.

“It is inconceivable that the enslaved were cruelly regarded as mere commodities for sale and exploitation,” he said.

“Together with their children born into slavery, perpetuating the vicious cycle of bondage and suffering – enduring untold horrors at the hands of their oppressors,” he added.

Pursuance of justice

Assembly President Francis paid tribute to revolutionary figures such as Samuel Sharpe, Sojourner Truth, and Gaspar Yanga, who bravely fought for freedom, paving the way for abolitionist movements and inspiring generations to challenge injustice.

He emphasized the ongoing impact of slavery’s legacy, calling for accountability and reparations as essential components of pursuing true justice, stressing the urgent need to address systemic racism and discrimination faced by people of African descent, both historically and in contemporary society.

“It is incumbent upon States, institutions, and individuals to acknowledge their roles in perpetuating these legacies of injustice – and to take meaningful steps towards reparatory justice,” he said.

Echoes continue today

Also on Monday, Courtenay Rattray, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, delivered a message on behalf of the UN chief, further amplifying the call for remembrance and justice.

Reading the Secretary-General’s message, Mr. Rattray echoed the sentiments of honouring the millions who suffered under the brutal regime of slavery.

“For four hundred years, enslaved Africans fought for their freedom, while colonial powers and others committed horrific crimes against them,” he said.

“Many of those who organized and ran the Transatlantic slave trade amassed huge fortunes,” he continued, noting that the enslaved were deprived of education, healthcare, opportunity, and prosperity.

“This laid the foundations for a violent discrimination system based on white supremacy that still echoes today.”

Mr. Rattray underscored the need for reparatory justice frameworks to help overcome generations of exclusion and discrimination, urging united effort towards a world free from racism, discrimination, bigotry and hate.

“Together, as we remember the victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, let’s unite for human rights, dignity and opportunity for all.”

Carrying on legacy to end racism

Also addressing the General Assembly, 15-year-old activist Yolanda Renee King of the United States said she was at the UN to be a changemaker.

“I stand before you today as a proud descendent of enslaved people who resisted slavery and racism,” she said.

“Like my grandparents, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, my parents, Martin Luther King III and Arndrea Waters King, have also dedicated their lives to putting an end to racism and all forms of bigotry and discrimination. Like them, I am committed to the fight against racial injustice and to carrying on the legacy of my grandparents.”

‘We shall overcome’

Calling on young people to lead the way to a better world, she said “we must connect via the internet and organize across national boundaries around the world.”

This will open up new possibilities for global campaigns to advance human rights and social justice for all nations, she added.

“Let’s today affirm the bonds on interdependence that unite freedom and justice loving people everywhere,” she said. “All the young people in the world should embrace the future with hope, optimism and radiant assurance that we shall overcome, as sisters and brothers of all races, religions and nations.”

SOURCE: UN News

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Modern day slavery still exist.. Babylon still have over 60 percent of the workforce earning wages as low as 3 to 5 EC dollars an hour working 12 to 18 hour shifts … In inhumane conditions

  2. Education is the key , I do believe History serves a detrimental part in our education society probably if it was taken as treated of such urgent importance the younger generations coming up would take a close look at who they are really killing and know their value .

  3. The slave trade built Britain and most of Europe. Minus Russia and Germany to some extent. Time to demand reparations and have them pay up. They committed a holocaust. Think of the millions who did not survive the brutal voyage. Britain pay up. NOW. You and France. In our case.

  4. This 400 year assault on people of African descent is nothing but the most sustained attack on a people who had and still have a great influence on the world. This debate is long overdue and I often wonder why is it that a history which cannot be denied find such resistance. The answer is the shame that it will uncover and expose. And to be clear, the history of slavery has not been fully uncovered as it’s legacy runs throughout the history of humanity, in vast number of institutions, in every corner of the globe. Indeed, Africa has touched the world in many ways than one. Africa being the continent that spawn humanity, had great civilizations, great history, has great wealth and yet there seems to be a slow trodding on facing the legacy and consequences of slavery. This debate should hands down should be on the table and with great urgency. The influence of Africa and it’s people can be found in the music of Europe, north and south America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific…I don’t think many people realise the indelible mark Africa’s people stamped on the world. Think of sport, music, food, dance, fashion, art, civilization, innovation. Name it Africa had a finger in it. The United nations should select committee of various experts from various nations globally to look into the history of slavery and uncover all the nooks and grannies and dirties if this diabolical and incidious crime. And yes reparations to the nations affected by this atrocity. Words cannot express the horrors of this terrible crime against humanity, nor will we ever know the pain and suffering of the forcefully enslaved and what they had to endure. Yet their descendants went on to achieve greatness inspite of the great difficulties they face…and still do today…this is a crime beyond criminality itself. Let’s have that debate…..

  5. Don’t forget the Irish in this , thousands were sent to the Caribbean as slaves as well as Africans , it is never really mentioned but is maybe why we have a certain bond ( not to mention a liking of Guinness) a good book to read is Barbados or bust which tells the story of Irish slaves

  6. Every time I hear the crack of the whip my blood run cold . I remember on the slave ship, how they brutalized our very souls

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