Washington, D.C. – On Friday 23rd March 2018, H.E. Ambassador Sidney Collie, Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to the Organization of American States, participated in a Special Meeting of the Permanent Council, which was convened to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
This year, the Organization commemorated the event under the theme: “Remember Slavery: Triumphs and Struggles for Freedom and Equality in the Americas”. The Special Meeting was part of the activities carried out by the Organization to celebrate the Inter-American Week for People of African Descent in the Americas. Featured presenters were: Member of the United States House of Representatives for the 5th District of New York, Representative Mr. Gregory W. Meeks, National Spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality, Mr. Niger Innis, Secretary of the District of Columbia, Ms. Lauren C. Vaughan, Associate Professor at Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó “Diego Luís Córdoba”, Mr. Sergio Antonio Mosquera and Deputy Director of the Washington D.C. Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (MOLA), Mr. Julio Guity-Guevara.
During his contribution to the discussion, Ambassador Collie reflected on the memory of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade and noted that the Bahamas encourages “all to recall the deleterious legacies of this history, which hinders progress towards freedom and equity in our region.”
“The remnants of slavery and its descendant – institutional and systemic racial discrimination, hatred and prejudice – even a resurgence of old racist ideologies and the emergence of new forms of intolerance in a time and space where we expect to find more advanced and evolutionary practices towards openness and acceptance, highlights the importance of this event.”, Collie added.
In closing, Ambassador Collie stated that “as we commemorate this solemn occasion, we pay tribute to the liberators of our region who triumphantly fought for freedom and equality; on the backs of whom we stand strongly on today while we continue the good fight. We thank those, like our esteemed panelists, who recognize that while we should always celebrate how far we’ve come from the vestiges of slavery, there is certainly more work to be done to denude such vestiges that remain institutionally embedded in the hearts and souls of those who systematically still seek to utilize tools of oppression against persons of African Descent.”
In commemoration of the memory of the victims, the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 62/122 of 17 December 2007, declared 25th March the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, to be observed annually. The day is also observed at the Organization of American States.
Caption 1: H.E. Ambassador Sidney Collie, Ambassador of The Bahamas to the United States of America and Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to the Organization of American States, delivers remarks at the Special Meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States – Friday 23rd March 2018.
Caption 2: Bahamas Consuls General to the United States attend the Special Meeting of the Permanent Council while in Washington, D.C. for the annual Consular Corps Consular Symposium. Pictured from left to right are Hon. Theo Neilly, Consul General of The Bahamas to Washington, D.C.; Hon. Linda Treco-Mackey, Consul General of The Bahamas to Miami, Florida; H.E. Ambassador Sidney Collie, Ambassador of The Bahamas to the United States of America and Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to the Organization of American States; Hon. Astra Armbrister-Rolle, Consul General of The Bahamas to Atlanta, Georgia; and Hon. Lawrence Cartwright, Consul General of The Bahamas to New York, New York.