Secretary-General's message on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
New York, 25 March 2014
Each year on this day we honour the memory of the millions of men, women and children who endured the curse of slavery. By recalling the causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade, we recommit to educating current and future generations of the dangers of racism and prejudice.
The theme of this year’s observance is “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond”. It pays tribute to the fight against slavery in nations around the world and marks 210 years since the Republic of Haiti became the first nation to win independence as a result of the struggle of enslaved men and women. We are also marking the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO Slave Route Project, launched to break the silence surrounding the slave trade and its consequences.
At United Nations Headquarters, work is under way on a Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It will stand as a constant reminder of the courage of slaves, abolitionists and unsung heroes who helped end the oppression of slavery. It will promote greater recognition of the contributions that slaves and their descendants have made in their societies.
I hope the Memorial will also be a source of inspiration in the continuing fight against the many forms of slavery that still exist today. Around the world, millions of people are subject to human trafficking, debt bondage, sexual slavery and domestic servitude while the perpetrators of these violations of human rights operate with impunity.
On this day, let us remember the abuses of the past and intensify our efforts to end those of the present.
Statements on 25 March 2014
- New York, 25 March 2014 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the killing of an Iranian border guard
- New York, 25 March 2014 - Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Maldives
- Quito, Ecuador, 25 March 2014 - Secretary-General's message for the United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine - "Engaging for Peace - The International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" [delivered by Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs]
- New York, 25 March 2014 - Secretary-General's message on International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members
- Kuwait, 25 March 2014 - Secretary-General's message to 25th ordinary session of the Council of the League of Arab States [delivered by Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria]