New York, 1 January 2022 (TDI): According to a press release issued by the Spokesperson for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on January 1, 2004. Secretary-General Annan indicated that it was the beginning of the end of slavery in America.
The Secretary-General extended his sincere congratulations to the Haitian people as they commemorate the bicentennial of their country today. The proclamation of the Independent Republic of Haiti on January 1, 1804, marked the beginning of the end of slavery in the Americas.
As such, it is an anniversary of profound significance to all humanity, as well as a fitting start to the year that has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and the Abolition of Slavery.
In recollecting the spirit of their ancestors, the Secretary-General hopes that the people of Haiti will be able to demonstrate strength to overcome the current political impasse in their country.
“We must work together to reach a consensus. This will enable the ultimate objectives of effective governance, profound respect for human rights, economic and social reconstruction, and the restoration of human health and environmental health to be more vigorously pursued.”
Additionally, he expressed sincere gratitude to the United Nations for its vital role by stating that they do so because they enthusiastically support the people of Haiti in their efforts to achieve a more secure future.
An integral part of the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery is the abolition of slavery
The United Nations General Assembly designated 2004 as the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery and its Abolition.
Overall, Israel, Palau, and the United States voted against this proclamation of the General Assembly (which was part of a more monstrous resolution that also included this declaration), while Australia and Canada abstained.
There have been several years of the United Nations designated to bring attention to relevant issues, beginning with the World Refugee Year in 1959/1960. 2004 marks the bicentennial of the proclamation of Haiti as the first independent state and the proclamation of an international year to commemorate the struggle against slavery and its abolition.
Furthermore, the event marked the reunion of people from Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe. In honour of the commemorative year, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the New York Public Library have cooperated to organise a virtual exhibition entitled Lest We Forget The Triumph Over Slavery.
2004 also saw the launch of a research and information program called Forgotten Slaves, which provides educational and research information. The programme was implemented by the French Marine Archaeology Group (GRAN) with the support of UNESCO.
It is a project that was inspired by the wreck of the slave ship L’Utile that occurred in the Indian Ocean off the shores of Tromelin Island in 1761, and it was intended to broaden public awareness about slavery’s history as well as its contemporary manifestations.
It is noteworthy that during this time, Haiti was planning to celebrate its 200th independence day on Thursday with a number of political demonstrations against the government in the capital, Port-au-Prince. In recognition of the bicentennial, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide spoke in the northern town of Gonaives.
“Gonaives is the site where Haiti declared its political independence from France 200 years ago, on January 1, 1804. The Haitian leader was accompanied by South African President Thabo Mbeki.”
In Port-au-Prince, thousands of demonstrators protested against President Aristide. Protesters were dispersed by tear gas fired by police. Journalists on the scene report that two people were shot. There was also a gunfight between police and Aristide supporters, but no one was injured.
Since the opposition claimed that the 2000 elections had been rigged, Haiti has been in turmoil for sixteen years. This has resulted in the country’s losing international assistance.