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Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation! Commemorating the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Posted: Friday, 15 March 2013, New York | Author: Department of Public Information

Beginning on March 18th, through March 25th, an Original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln will be on display along with the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution in the United Nations Visitors’ Lobby for free. The unveiling of the documents at the exhibit Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation kicks off a week of activities at the United Nations leading up to March 25, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade   . 

A Week of Activities

Every year, the United Nations reminds the world about the horrors of slavery and the Transatlantic slave trade through music, art, films, exhibits and discussions. Throughout the week of 18 to 25 March, the United Nations will open its doors to civil society, students, writers, artists and the public to discuss and learn about the impact of 400 years of slavery. 

The 2013 theme, “Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation,” pays tribute to the emancipation of slaves as this year marks many key slavery abolition anniversaries in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and, Latin America including the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States. On 1 January 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation declared “all persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

Events taking place at UNHQ include an NGO briefing, a student global video conference, the screening of “Lincoln” at the US Mission, a book presentation, a cultural event, a concert and a GA Commemorative Event. The Secretariat cafeteria will also mark the event by incorporating African/Caribbean/Soul flavours into its menu offering for the week. Details can be found here   .


On Friday 22 March beginning at 7 pm, a concert in the General Assembly Hall will be MC-ed by UN Foundation Girl Up Champion Monique Coleman and feature performances by Benyoro, Cameroon National Ballet, Somi, Steel Pulse and UNESCO Artist for Peace nominee Marcus Miller.

A limited number of tickets for the concert are available for UN staff members and interns in New York to attend this exciting evening! To enter the staff lottery, enter your details
here   . The Concert will be available live on UN Webcast   and Time Warner Channel 150 will also broadcast the concert locally in New York.

Celebrating Emancipation Around the World

UNICs around the world are participating in the commemoration with events such as exhibits in Ankara and Ouagadougou, film screenings in Geneva, Brussels and Rio de Janeiro and student visits to historic slave sites in Dakar, Dar es Salaam and Brazzaville.

Join the Discussion!

How can you help commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade? Participate in the conversation on Twitter by following
@rememberslavery   , and visiting Tumblr   , and Facebook   . You don’t have to wait until March 25th to start learning about the history and legacy of slavery. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to take part in the global conversation today!