|© UNESCO/Ania Freindorf|
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
“The transatlantic slave trade is one of the most extreme violations of human rights in history. The duration, extent and magnitude of this dehumanizing enterprise have led to its universal condemnation. The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition – 23 August – is an opportunity to reflect once again on this tragedy and to pay tribute to those who struggled for its abolition in the light of the universal recognition of human rights. (…) 2011 is also International Year for People of African Descent. This is a chance to examine the effects of the slave trade, whose ignominious practice has in part shaped the face of modern society, across all regions of the world. This history can also nourish our thinking about our multicultural and multiethnic societies today,” stated Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on her message for the occasion.
Message from the Director-General of UNESCO International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 23 August 2011
PARIS, France, August 23, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UNESCO calls on partners to join international competition on the permanent memorial to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.
The commemoration of International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition carries special significance this year as it marks the 10th anniversary of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that was held in Durban.
“The history of the slave trade provides unique insight also to nearly four centuries of linkages and exchanges among peoples and cultures. Each of us must be empowered to learn about this past and to reclaim it, as a necessary step in building new common ground,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.
In connection with this, UNESCO will launch the international competition on the permanent memorial to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade that will be built at United Nations Headquarters in New York. According to Irina Bokova, this memorial initiative launched by the UN Secretary-General will symbolize universal recognition of the tragedy as one that befell not only Africans and people of African descent but humanity as a whole.
SOURCE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)