Remarks by Governor Ted Strickland, Senior Advisor on the "Follow-Up to the Commemoration of the Two-Hundredth Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade," Agenda Item 120, at the UN General Assembly

Governor Ted Strickland, Senior Advisor
New York, NY
October 21, 2013


Mr. President,

As a multicultural society, the United States remains committed to fighting racism, safeguarding the dignity of people regardless of race or background, and countering the hateful legacy of slavery. We believe strongly in spreading awareness of the struggle of men, women, and children who fell victim to slavery and to educating future generations of this tragic past as a means of combating racism and prejudice. The United States continues to press forward on eliminating discrimination within our own country as well as joining the global community in creating a world of freedom and equality for all.

In addition, the United States has supported UNESCO’s Breaking the Silence: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Education Project. As part of that effort, we engage governments and civil society organizations alike to raise awareness about the history of the slave trade, as well as to highlight the invaluable contributions made by persons of African descent in every field of human endeavor.

The United States is proud to congratulate Mr. Rodney Leon for being chosen to design the permanent memorial. Mr. Leon, a Haitian-American, is a celebrated artist whose work has offered our nation space and inspiration to reflect on our painful history as well as the progress we have made. His design “Ark of Return” will inspire us to remember and honor the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, to reflect on the past and the lessons learned, and to contemplate the steps we each must take to combat the lingering consequences of slavery and to eradicate discrimination.

The United States is honored to co-sponsor today’s draft resolution “Permanent memorial to and remembrance of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.” We must never forget the terrible human tragedy of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, and the moral courage of those who worked to end it.

Thank you, Mr. President.


PRN: 2013/188