2022 Assembly


International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Transatlantic Slave Trade


International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic SlaveTrade
Remember Slavery
Every year on the 25th of March, the world honours and remembers the victims of slavery and especially those victims of the transatlantic slave trade.
In previous years, themes centred on “Remembrance”, “Celebrating Emancipation”, “Culture” and more. In 2015, the theme will be “Women and Slavery” with tribute being paid to both the enslaved women who endured forced labour and exploitation, and the women who subsequently overcame slavery and abuse, to become leaders in the modern world.
This year is particularly special as a Permanent Memorial in honour of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade will be unveiled at the United Nations Visitor Plaza in New York, as a reminder to the world to remember and reflect upon the legacy of the slave trade and to fight against racism and prejudice as they occur in modern times.
The permanent Memorial is entitled “Ark of Return: Lest We Forget” created by Mr. Rodney Leon, an American of Haitian descent who explained his design as follows: “The Ark of Return is a symbolic spiritual space and object where one can interact and pass through for acknowledgement, contemplation, meditation, reflection, healing, education and transformation.’’
In 2013, at the announcement of the winning design, Ms. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General stated “The slave trade is not merely a thing of the past – it has shaped the world we live in, it has moulded the face of modern societies, creating indissoluble ties between people, irreversibly transforming economies, cultures and customs across the world. The slave trade concerns not only people of African descent but the whole of humanity.”
The permanent Memorial is intended to be a reminder to future generations of the importance of remembering and learning from the past. It will help us appreciate the importance of understanding history and the consequences of slavery. In addition, it will act as an educational resource, raising awareness about the dangers of racism, prejudice and their impact on society.
During the week commencing 23rd March, 2015, a series of events are taking place worldwide, to include cultural events at the United Nations General Assembly Building.
For more information, please see:
To watch the unveiling ceremony of The Ark of Return, please log onto: UN WEB TV

Anne Kelleher
RENATE Communications Person