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Monument to Victims of Slavery to Open at UN Headquarters in March

Mr. Rodney Leon (second left), winner of the design competition, ‘The Ark of Return’, to be erected as a Permanent Memorial to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, explains his concept to (from left), Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; Antiguan Prime Minister, Hon. Baldwin Spencer and Jamaica's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, at on September 23 unveiling at the UN. (FILE) Mr. Rodney Leon (second left), winner of the design competition, ‘The Ark of Return’, to be erected as a Permanent Memorial to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, explains his concept to (from left), Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; Antiguan Prime Minister, Hon. Baldwin Spencer and Jamaica's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, at on September 23 unveiling at the UN. (FILE)
The permanent memorial to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade is to be erected in March on the grounds of the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson, who made the disclosure on Tuesday, February 10, said the UN initiative to erect the monument, entitled ‘The Ark of No-Return’, was Jamaican-inspired and CARICOM and African Union endorsed.

He was addressing members of the diplomatic corps at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in Kingston, as part of Diplomatic Week 2015 activities.

“I express profound gratitude to those countries, which have contributed to the fund-raising efforts and encourage those who have not yet done so to use the window, which remains open, to meet the amount required for its completion,” he said.

The monument, designed by Haitian-American, Rodney Leon, will be triangular in shape and made from gleaming white marble panels supported by a stainless steel structural frame.

It was selected from an initial 310 entries by an international panel of five judges. The trust fund established to build the Permanent Memorial has to date raised US$1.4 million.

Meanwhile, Minister Nicholson informed that the International Decade for People of African Descent will run from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2024.

The decade aims to underline the important contribution made by people of African descent to the wider society and to propose concrete measures to promote their full inclusion and to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.

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