“India’s voluntary contribution of $260,000 to the Permanent Memorial Trust Fund is a visible manifestation of our continued commitment to the objective of ending racial discrimination and slave trade,” said Indian Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji.
With $260,000 India is the lead contributor to the trust fund among over 85 contributing countries and individuals. Mukerji, speaking on the occasion quoted India’s national poet Rabindranath Tagore and said “the Ark would hopefully guide the international community into that heaven of freedom where the mind is without fear so that future generations can collectively ensure that the tragedy of slavery will never again befall humankind.” The UN Chief said that the memorial stands as a strong and permanent reminder not only of this gross injustice but of the goals that the UN set for itself 70 years ago.
“This poignant and powerful memorial helps us to acknowledge the collective tragedy that befell millions of people.” “It encourages us to consider the historical legacy of slavery and, above all, it ensures that we never forget,” the UN Chief said, while also issuing a call to honour women of African descent. “So this Ark of Return will stand as a constant reminder on the plaza of the United Nations, for all of us, not only to international leaders but also to the most basic of us here to never forget and to never repeat the mistakes of the past.
“Slavery remained one of the darkest and most abhorrent chapters in world history. The majority of the victims of this brutal, primitive trade in human beings remain unnamed and unknown.” “Nevertheless, their dignity and courage was boundless and worthy of this honour and tribute,” said Kutesa.