UNGA Current Affairs

March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is observed every year on March 25 across the world. Observance of this day honours and remembers those who suffered and died as consequence of transatlantic slave trade. It also aims at raising awareness about dangers of racism and prejudice Transatlantic slave trade which had taken place over span 400 years is considered as worst violation of human rights in history in which more than 15 million men, women and children were victims. The 2018 theme was ‘Remember Slavery: Triumphs and Struggles for Freedom and Equality’. It celebrates freedom of African descent people from slavery. It also acknowledges challenges faced by people in movement towards freedom and equality.

Background

The International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was instituted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting a resolution in 2007. It was first observed in 2008 and since then it is observed annually. Same year, UNGA had established Remember Slavery Programme through its resolution 62/122 to honour memory of victims of slavery and transatlantic slave trade. The programme aims to raise awareness of dangers of racism and prejudice organizing educational activities throughout year such as film screenings, exhibition, tours of the Permanent Memorial, roundtable discussions etc. It is managed by Education Outreach Section of Department of Public Information’s Outreach Division of UN.

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Venezuela, Libya Lose UNGA Vote for third time in 3 Years

Venezuela and Libya were suspended from voting in United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2018-19 session for not paying dues to 193-member world body. It was for third time in three years these countries have been suspended from voting for unpaid dues.

Key Facts

Overall, 14 countries including Venezuela and Libya were in arrears for paying to global organization. Venezuela was suspended for not paying minimum of $25,200,296 and Libya must pay at least $6,594,842 to restore its voting rights. Venezuela is engulfed in economic and political crisis and Libya has two rival governments, each backed by an array of militias.

The other countries that also lost their voting rights are Central African Republic (CAR), Dominican Republic, Dominica, Marshall Islands, Grenada, Surinam and Yemen. Equatorial Guinea also lost voting rights in UN Security Council. But UNGA through resolution has allowed Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia to vote despite being in arrears.

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