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Over 15m Africans suffered Transatlantic slave trade – UN chief

New York – UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said more than 15 million Africans suffered the brutalities of the Transatlantic slave trade, calling for respect for the dignity of every human being.

Guterres stated this while honouring those who suffered the shameful Transatlantic slave trade to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The UN chief said the Day, set aside to remember the “epically shameful” chapter of human history, was an opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.

“More than 15 million men, women and children from Africa were enslaved,” Guterres pointed out.

Explaining the reason for declaring the Day, the UN scribe said it was “to acknowledge a brutal chapter in .human history, and to raise awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice today”.

From March 5 to 28, UN Headquarters hosts a temporary exhibition entitled ‘Remember Slavery: Say it Loud’.

The exhibition featured the work of 11 male and 11 female architects of African descent, whose perseverance, creativity and unique perspective had given them a voice on how public spaces were presented and utilised.

Again, in 2018, the Day is being commemorated during the International Decade for People of African Descent, which runs through 2024.

“Let us celebrate the gains of people of African descent and let us press, every day and everywhere, to defend the dignity of every human being,” Guterres stressed.

Every year on March 25, the Day of Remembrance offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system, borne of the largest forced and legally sanctioned movement of people in human history.

“As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, let us honour those who perished or suffered under slavery,” the UN chief said.

To permanently honour the victims of Transatlantic slave trade, the UN in 2015 erected a memorial, The Ark of Return by Haitian-American architect Rodney Leon, at its Headquarters in New York. (NAN)


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