In 2015 year’s celebration of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition coincides with the launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), announced by the UN in 2014.
This International Day is therefore the occasion to highlight both the extent of the repercussions of this human tragedy and the richness of the cultural expressions that people of African descent have produced in the face of adversity through visual arts, music, dance, spirituality, thought, political action and knowledge-building.
This commemoration recalls that the slave trade is not just a thing of the past. It reveals how the slave trade has shaped the face of many modern societies, creating unbreakable bonds between peoples and continents, irreversibly transforming the destiny of nations as well as their economies, cultures, and identities. Ultimately, it is the occasion to learn lessons from the discourses that justify barbarism, and to pay homage to the dignity and resilience of the victims of the slave trade.
Decision 8.2 of the 150th session of the UNESCO Executive Board:
1. Bearing in mind 20 C/Resolution 4/1.2/7 in which the General Conference invited the DirectorGeneral to provide moral and material assistance towards the organization, each year, of a Black Peoples’ Day,
2. Recalling 27 C/Resolution 3.13 in which the General Conference approved the implementation of the intercultural and interregional project entitled "The Slave Route",
3. Recalling also 28 C/Resolution 5.11 on the slave route and the proposal for the establishment at international level of remembrance of the slave-trade,
4. Further recalling that 23 August 1791 was the day on which the slaves of Saint-Domingue and Haiti rose up in rebellion, thus taking the first step towards the abolition of the slave-trade,
5. Noting with interest the support expressed for the UNESCO Slave Route project by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) at its twenty-eighth summit at Dakar in June 1992,
6. Endorses the general approach and conception proposed by the Director-General in document 150 EX/32 concerning the objectives and the programme for the establishment of the remembrance;
Recommends that the General Conference:
(a) proclaim 23 August of every year ’International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition’; and
(b) submit to the United Nations General Assembly a request that all United Nations Member States take part in this remembrance.
Source: un.org | unesco.org