H.E. Jane J. Chigiyal
Permanent Representative of the
Federated States of Micronesia to the UN
On behalf of the States of the Asia-Pacific Group
International Day of Remembrance of the Victims
of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
New York, 25 March 2012
Check Against Delivery
Madame Deputy Secretary-General,
Excellencies and Distinguished Colleagues,
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of Asian and Pacific Small Island Developing States.
Today, as we pause to observe the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, it is only proper and fitting that this body, the United Nations, pay solemn tribute to the millions of victims from one of the greatest crimes committed against humanity.
As we reflect on the theme of this year's commemoration: "Honoring the Heroes, Resisters and Survivors", we pay tribute to the millions of Africans who were subjected to one of the greatest historical injustices and atrocities against humankind. In our remembrance and tribute to these heroes, we must approach this terrible human tragedy with far greater commitment to rid this world of racism, of hatred, of intolerance, of prejudice, and the many other faces it has taken to manifest itself in our world today.
The Universal Declaration on Human Rights reminds us that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and right". Nothing less is required of us, if we are to achieve these principles that the Universal Declaration on Human Rights subscribed to 64 years ago.
We all must take encouragement in the great initiative that our brothers and sisters from CARICOM states had spearheaded that culminated in this annual commemoration. The opportunity for a moral recommitment to the principles and purposes laid down in the United Nations Charter is here, and must include the determination for action across the entire spectrum of this body's agenda, and in our societies as well, to combat the legacy of racial discrimination, bigotry and prejudice.
With respect, Mr. President, I would go further and say that a moral recommitment must also include our determination for action to include support to the member states of CARICOM and other members of this body that have united in purpose and efforts to erect on the grounds of the United Nations, a lasting symbol in tribute to these heroes, and the lessons that we must embrace from their courage, their dignity, their resilience, their fight for equality and humanity, Lest, their struggles be forgotten.
I thank you, Mr. President.