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Ghana calls for an end to racism, exploitation worldwide

March 31, 2016, 7:02 a.m.

Ghana has urged the international community to put an end to all forms of slavery, by addressing the false ideologies and racial prejudices that give rise to racism, discrimination, intolerance and exploitation worldwide. 

At a special meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday (March 29, 2016) to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, Ambassador Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Ghana's Permanent Representative to the United Nations emphasized the need for dignity and equality of all human beings in accordance with the universal declarations of the UN. 

"Mere remembrance without positive action does not make for progress or renewal. Therefore, the commemoration should serve as a time for deep reflection and collective action" she stated. 

"It is fitting that we remember the dark era in the history of mankind, during which millions of African women, men and children were taken as slaves from the continent and transported from their homelands to destinations in Europe and the Americas in inhuman conditions and treated as commodities", the Ambassador stated, adding that "It is also right that we honour the victims of slavery and those who opposed and triumphed over this crime. Their strength of will and resilience continue to inspire us today.", Ambassador Pobee stated at the event, which fell on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

She commended the efforts of the UN system to educate current and future generations on the contemporary consequences of the tragedy of human history. 

Many visitors to the Cape Coast and Elmina castles in Ghana which bear haunting memories of the heinous crime of slavery, have the opportunity to see the "Door of No Return", from where slaves were put onto ships bound for the Americas. Today visitors to the UN headquarters will also see the Permanent memorial named the "Ark of Return", the Ambassador noted. 

Speaking on "Remember slavery and celebrate the heritage, culture and roots of the African Diaspora", an Anthropologist and Executive Director of the Global African Diaspora, Dr. Shelia S. Walker mentioned that out "of the 6.5 million people who crossed the Atlantic between 1500 and 1800, only one million came from Europe. Five and a half million came from Africa. So for the first 300 of the 500 year history of the modern Americas, the overwhelming majority of the population was of African origin.

Source: Ghanaweb