By KALOBWE BWALYA
AFRICAN and Caribbean countries have jointly called on the United Nations (UN) to eliminate racism and end the legacy of slavery that saw the separation of 12 million Africans from their motherland to the Caribbean.
The African and Caribbean Counties have established a group called the African Group-CARICOM (AfCAR) meant to deepen cultural, economic, social and other issues of common interest.
AfCAR called for collective efforts among Member States to eliminate all forms of racism, xenophobia and intolerance, which gave rise to slavery.
This is contained in a joint statement on the occasion of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The theme of this year’s International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is: “Ending Slavery’s Legacy of Racism: A Global Imperative for Justice.”
Delivering the statement on behalf of the AfCAR Group in the General Assembly of the United Nations, Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Carolyn Birkett said Member States should never cease to denounce racism, discrimination, xenophobia, intolerance and modern day slavery.
The African and Caribbean countries urged the UU to realise the importance of implementing participatory policies that were culturally relevant, free from racism and promote equality and rights of all persons of African descent.
“The issue of reparations is pivotal to restorative justice and to creating opportunity and equity for those whose limbs and lives were used without mercy or remuneration to build societies and strong economies.
“The United Nations must take concrete steps to eliminate the scourge of racism and act decisively to safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,” Mr Birkett said.
And UN Secretary General António Guterres said the world should acknowledge that racism was both a cause and a legacy of slavery and that the impact of the slave trade had remained visible in racial injustices and inequalities.
This is according to a statement released to Daily nation by First Secretary for Press
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the UU, Wallen Simwaka.