Government will work to eradicate all forms of racism – President Ali in address to UN
His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has pledged that his Government will work to eradicate all forms of racism.
The Guyanese Head of State made this commitment, on Wednesday, at the High-Level Meeting to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, hosted under the theme “Reparations, racial justice and equality for people of African descent”, in New York.
“I am proud to belong to a country that honours and celebrates its ethnic diversity. Our people seamlessly participate in each other’s religious and cultural festivals and traditions. In many ways, we can be a wonderful example to the world… The Government of Guyana will continue to work assiduously to eradicate all forms of racism and racial discrimination and to ensure inclusive development with equal access and sharing in Guyana’s wealth.”
President Ali stated that Guyana welcomes the inclusion of reparations in the theme of Wednesday’s meeting, and went on to note that the abolition of slavery was a defining moment in our country’s history.
“Every year on Emancipation Day, we recall the heroic courage and sacrifices of our African ancestors in their struggle for freedom and human dignity. Freedom, however, was not accompanied by recompense for the atrocities committed against those enslaved.”
The Guyanese Head of State further committed to gaining international reparations for the crime of African enslavement. He pointed out that reparative justice must not only include a full and unconditional apology from those responsible and/or who benefitted from the Transatlantic Slave Trade of captive Africans but must go beyond apology.
It is in regard, that President Ali promulgated Guyana’s continuous support to the efforts being made within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to press for the convening of an international summit to demand reparative justice for the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, African enslavement, and its enduring effects.
Furthermore, President Ali reaffirmed Guyana’s commitment to the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. This is a comprehensive, action-oriented document that proposed concrete measures to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and emphasised that equality and non-discrimination are not only fundamental principles of international human rights and international humanitarian law, but are at the root of political, social and economic development.
Earlier in the day, Guyana joined in adopting the Political Declaration.