Beckles calls on UN for justice for Haiti

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UWI Vice-Chancellor Prof Sir Hilary Beckles –

UWI Vice-Chancellor Prof Sir Hilary Beckles says the ongoing political turmoil in Haiti is evidence of the international community’s failure to address the ills brought about by the transatlantic slave trade.

On March 25, Beckles addressed a programme hosted by the UN General Assembly in New York to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Beckles lamented that Haiti, despite being the first nation to free itself from the yoke of slavery in 1804, has never been able to achieve the level of development for its people that should have coincided with such an achievement.

“We are calling for justice for the people of Haiti, who should have been held aloft for being the first nation to end the evil of slavery.”

UNGA president Ambassador Dennis Francis agreed with Beckles that current events in Haiti are evidence of a centuries-long crime against humanity.

Even after the abolition of slavery in the 19th century, Francis said many people of African descent across the world continue to face discrimination in areas such as education, health care, housing and employment.

He added, “It is high time to right the wrongs of systemic racism and injustice.”

Francis reminded his audience, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”