Jamaica is pleased to join with the International Community to commemorate the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.
Today provides an opportunity for reflection on the advances we have made since slavery and on how much more is to be accomplished, if we are to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of our forefathers.
We are proud of Jamaica’s leadership at the International level for the building of a monument at the UN in honour of the memories of the millions who suffered the horrors of the heinous Atlantic slave trade. Implicit in the message of this global effort is that we dare not forget the price that was paid for the freedom we now enjoy. In these times of uncertainty and great challenge, we must remain inspired by the strength and determination of our heroic ancestors who refused to accept a life as lesser beings and demanded by their actions their right to live as free men and women.
Today, as we confront the socio–economic ills which would circumscribe the enjoyment of our freedoms, the baton is in our hands. The efforts of those who preceded us must never be in vain. They should stand as a beacon of hope and encouragement for the future, a future whose potential will only be achieved if we live our motto of being “One People”.
We should never forget that we are a people of great strength and fortitude. Let us resolve to use our vast reservoir of creativity and ingenuity to boost the development of our beloved Jamaica and advance the welfare of our people.