Reparations should be made for African slave trade, Antigua and Barbuda tells UN

24 September 2011

The Caribbean island State of Antigua and Barbuda today demanded reparations for injustices suffered by African slaves and their descendants, saying at the United Nations that segregation and violence against people of African descent had impaired their capacity for advancement as nations, communities and individuals.

“None should disagree that racism and other legacies of slavery continue to shape the lives of people of African descent – thus reparations must be directed toward repairing the damage inflicted by slavery and racism,” Baldwin Spencer, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, told the General Assembly’s annual general debate in New York.

He stressed that former slave-owning States should begin a reconciliation process by formally apologizing for the crimes committed by those nations or their citizens over the 400 years of the African slave trade.

“And to help counter the lingering damage inflicted on generations of peoples of African descent by generations of slave-trading and colonialism, we call on those very States to back up their apologies with new commitments to the economic development of the nations that have suffered from this human tragedy,” said Mr. Spencer.

He said that planned African Diaspora Summit in South Africa next year will provide a platform for the African diaspora to put in place economic policies that will ensure sustained economic cooperation among public and private stakeholders to promote development, entrepreneurship and business opportunities in diaspora regions.


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