07.07.2011 - Culture Sector

Director-General Signs Memorandum for Design of Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade

© UNESCO/Cynthia Guttman - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova signing a Memorandum of Understanding with UN Under-Secretary General Sha Zukang and Andrea Wilson, Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the UN, at UNESCO in New York on 30 June 2011

In the presence of United Nations Under-Secretary General Sha Zukang and ambassadors from Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the international design competition for the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in a ceremony at UNESCO in New York on 30 June 2011.

“We are proud to be part of this collaborative effort of the United Nations family for several reasons. First, it is a very important project that will serve as a reminder to humanity of this shameful page in our common history,” said Ms Bokova. “Second, through our involvement in the Slave Route and General History of Africa projects, we have not only aimed to restore historical truth, but to show the impact of the slave trade on the many cultural exchanges that have shaped societies today.”

Mrs Andrea Wilson, Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, recalled that the initiative to erect a permanent memorial was spearheaded by the Member States of CARICOM and the Africa group.

“The launch of the design competition by UNESCO will be a tangible outcome for 2011,” said Mrs Andrea Wilson. “There is universal agreement that UNESCO will manage a transparent and politically impartial process, and UNESCO’s reputation, international standing and its universal outreach, support this perspective.”

The Permanent Memorial will be located at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.




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