H.E. Mr. John W. Ashe
President of the 68th
Session of the United Nations
25 March 2014
Follow-up to the commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary
of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade: commemorative
meeting on the occasion of the International Day of Remembrance of
the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade [item 120]
"Today we commemorate the spirit, courage and legacy of millions of men, women and children who were victims of one of the darkest and most abhorrent chapters in history – the Transatlantic Slave Trade. As we gather for this year’s International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, we call to mind the memory of all those who suffered the cruelty and injustice of the largest forced migration in history."
A number of commemorative activities will be held in observance of this Day and I encourage the support and participation of all Member States.
The theme of this year’s celebration is “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond,” and this year we acknowledge the role of a country synonymous with the quest for freedom against the institution of slavery. The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804 is considered by historians to be the most successful and sustained slave revolt to have ever occurred. Led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, and others like Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Henri Christophe, the Haitian revolution was a defining moment in the histories of Europe and the Americas, and culminated in the birth of a new nation, the Republic of Haiti, which celebrated its 210th anniversary in January 2014.
READ THE FULL REMARKS HERE.