South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called upon to build a society based on social justice and fundamental human rights on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration during the 76th United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
He said slavery was one of the darkest periods in the history of humankind and a crime of unparalleled barbarity. Millions of the descendants of Africans who were sold into slavery remain trapped in lives of underdevelopment, disadvantage, discrimination and poverty.
Ramaphosa called on the United Nations to put the issue of reparations for victims of the slave trade on its agenda.
“We support the adoption of special measures, including affirmative action programmes and targeted financial assistance, as restitution to communities whose ancestors were sold into slavery,” he said, We further support all measures being undertaken to address the historic and contemporary discrimination against people of African descent.”
He further stated that the international society must combat the racism, sexism and national chauvinism of the present.
“Racism directed at ethnic minorities, migrants, refugees, the LGBTQI+ community and other marginalized groups has led to the denial of opportunity, to institutionalised discrimination, and to violence,” he said.
“We are called upon by history to redouble our efforts to build a world free of racism, to right the wrongs of the past and to restore the human dignity of all,” he said. Enditem