EU-CELAC Summit July 17 -18

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, CELAC pro tempore president. (Photo credit: NBC Radio/Demion McTair)

Leaders of EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) met in Brussels for a summit on July 17-18 to discuss a broad range of issues in the partnership.  

The Repair Campaign lobbied heads of Caribbean governments to add the topic of reparations to their addresses as such an event is a great opportunity to bring international attention to the movement.  

Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and President of CELAC, raised the subject of Europe’s slave-trading past that inflicted great suffering and he encouraged the inclusion of language acknowledging the “historical legacies of native genocide and enslavement of African bodies” and “reparatory justice.”  

In a big development for the reparatory justice movement, a statement was agreed on and adopted by leaders which we have included below:  

“We acknowledge and profoundly regret the untold suffering inflicted on millions of men, women and children as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We underline our full support to the related principles and elements contained in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, including the acknowledgment that slavery and the slave trade, including the transatlantic slave trade, were appalling tragedies in the history of humanity not only because of their abhorrent barbarism but also in terms of their magnitude, organized nature and especially their negation of the essence of the victims, and that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity.”

We are encouraged by such action at the international, multilateral level and The Repair Campaign is committed to continuing advocacy and lobbying efforts.