Monday, April 19, 2010

Slavery: Build memorial to victims of slavery - UN

This article was released by the UN during this blog's weekend break. It is a couple of days out of date but some readers may have misssed seeing it via other media.

United Nations officials have called on Member States and private donors to support a trust fund to pay for a permanent memorial at United Nations Headquarters in New York to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.

Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information, and Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the UN Office for Partnerships (UNOP), made the appeal while receiving a donation of $250,000 from India, which is currently the largest single contributor to the fund.

In 2007 the General Assembly commemorated the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade by designating 25 March as an annual day of remembrance and endorsing the idea of constructing a permanent memorial at UN Headquarters “in acknowledgment of the tragedy and consideration of its legacy.”

The trust fund was launched in May last year to pay for the memorial construction and India’s donation means that about $700,000 has been raised so far – less than a quarter of the $4.5 million that is estimated to be needed if the memorial is to be erected by 2012.

Ambassador Raymond Wolfe of Jamaica is heading efforts to erect the memorial, while a committee of interested States is also participating in the trust fund.

At a ceremony yesterday to mark the Indian donation, which was handed over by Ambassador H. S. Puri, Mr. Akasaka stressed that the memorial should serve as a living reminder to the international community of the need to maintain momentum in combating the legacy of slavery, including pernicious contemporary forms of the practice.

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