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The Government of Jamaica is indeed pleased to join the international community in observance of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. This calls for poignant reflection on the historic causes and tragic consequences of the transatlantic slave trade. We acknowledge the rebellion of the night of 23rd August 1791, on the island of Saint Domingue, now Haiti, as a significant turning point in one of the darkest chapters in human history. This successful uprising was a catalyst for the eventual abolition of the slave trade in 1833.

This Day of Remembrance provides an opportunity for us to take stock of the progress made, even as we recognise the challenges in preventing the reoccurrence of such crimes against humanity. The world has made significant strides in combating modern-day forms of enslavement such as human trafficking. Notwithstanding, we are reminded that there is still much to be achieved. Jamaica stands with its international partners in solidarity against remnants of the legacy of slavery. Let us continue to work together towards eliminating these scourges which affect our women, men and children.

At the multilateral level, Jamaica has sought to address the issue of slavery by its leadership role in the erection and unveiling of the Permanent Memorial in honour of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade at the United Nations Headquarters. This Memorial is one of the most important contributions to the commemoration of the abolition of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.

Today, I invite all Jamaicans to take a moment to remember the millions who were lost in bondage, through the Middle Passage, as well as those who suffered and those who lost their lives under a brutal system of trading in persons. We pay homage to our unsung heroes who against all odds fought for their right to self-determination and triumphed. Their resilience and indomitable spirit remain a profound source of inspiration in the fight against modern-day slavery in all its forms.

 

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