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Commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade



United Nations A/61/L.28
General Assembly
Distr.: Limited
20 November 2006
Original: English
06-62313 (E) 211106
*0662313 *
Sixty-first session Agenda item 155

Editor's Note: The text of the UN draft resolution designates 25 March 2007 as the International Day for the Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. However, during debate, this date was orally amended by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to 26 March 2007 instead of 25 March which falls on a weekend.


Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe :

Draft resolution

Commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade


The General Assembly,

Reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights1 which proclaimed that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude and that slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms,

Recalling that the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which operated between the fifteenth and late nineteenth centuries, involved the forced transportation of millions of Africans as slaves, mostly from West Africa to the Americas, thereby enriching the imperial empires of the time,

Honouring the memory of those who died as a result of slavery, including through exposure to the horrors of the middle passage and in revolt against and resistance to enslavement,

Recognizing that the slave trade and slavery are among the worst violations of human rights in the history of humanity, bearing in mind particularly their scale and duration,

Deeply concerned that it has taken the international community almost two hundred years to acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity and that they should always be deemed so,

Recalling that slavery and the slave trade were declared a crime against humanity by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa, from 31 August to 8 September 2001,

Acknowledging that the slave trade and the legacy of slavery are at the heart of situations of profound social and economic inequality, hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice, which continue to affect people of African descent today,

Recalling paragraphs 98 through 106 of the Durban Declaration2 and emphasizing, in particular, the importance of the "provision of effective remedies, recourse, redress, and compensatory and other measures at the national, regional and international levels", aimed at countering the continued impact of slavery and the slave trade,

Recognizing the knowledge gap that exists with regard to the consequences created by the slave trade and slavery, and with regard to the interactions, past and present, generated among the peoples of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, including the Caribbean,

Welcoming the work of the International Scientific Committee of the Slave Route Project of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which aims to correct this knowledge gap, and looks forward to its report in due course,

Recalling resolution 28 adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at its thirty-first session,3 proclaiming 2004 as the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition, and recalling also 23 August as that Organization's International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition,

Noting that 2007 will mark the two-hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which contributed significantly to the abolition of slavery,

1. Decides to designate 25 March 2007 as the International Day for the Commemoration of the Two-hundredth Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade;

2. Urges Member States that have not already done so to develop

educational programmes designed to educate and inculcate in future generations, including through school curricula, an understanding of the lessons, history and consequences of slavery and the slave trade;

3. Decides to convene, on 25 March 2007, a special commemorative

meeting of the General Assembly on the International Day for the Commemoration of the Two-hundredth Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to establish a programme of outreach, with the involvement of Member States and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to appropriately commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade;

5. Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-second session a special report on initiatives taken by States to implement paragraphs 101 and 102 of the Durban Declaration aimed at countering the legacy of slavery and contributing to the restoration of the dignity of the victims of slavery and the slave trade.

__________________

1 Resolution 217 A (III). A/61/L.2806-62313 2
2 See A/CONF.189/12 and Corr.1, chap. I.
3 See Records of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Thirty-first Session, Paris, 15 October-3 November 2001, vol. 1, Resolutions (Paris, 2002), chap. V. A/61/L.28 3 06-62313



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