Ramaphosa calls on UN to prioritise slave trade reparations

President Cyril Ramaphosa was delivering a statement at the opening plenary meeting of the UN’s 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the United Nations to prioritise the issues of reparations regarding the slave trade.

Ramaphosa was delivering a statement at the opening plenary meeting of the UN’s 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

The meeting is being held under the theme of 'Reparations, racial justice and equality of people of African descent'.

It’s been just more than two decades since the UN put the issue of reparations to Africa for the trans-Atlantic slave trade on its agenda at the World Conference on Racism in Durban but there has been no progress.

President Ramaphosa now wants the matter back on the UN agenda as a matter of urgency.

"South Africa calls on the United Nations to put the issue of reparations for victims of the slave trade on its agenda. We support the adoption of special measures, including affirmative action, targeted financial assistance as restitution to communities whose ancestors were sold into slavery."

Analysts said that it was unlikely that former western slave-trading countries would engage in reparative measures in the near future.

Ramaphosa touched on a number of issues, calling on world leaders to fight against the wrongs of the past.

WATCH: Ramaphosa addresses the 76th session of the UN General Assembly

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