United Nations General
Assembly declared 2004 as the
International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against
Slavery and its Abolition (having welcomed the fact that
UNESCO had proclaimed it as such earlier).
Assembly resolution in its entirety (of which this declaration
was a single paragraph) was voted against by the Israel, Palau and the
States, with Australia and
The United Nations
, beginning with the World Refugee Year
in 1959/1960, are
designated in order to focus world attention on important issues.
proclamation of an international year to commemorate the struggle
against slavery and its abolition marked the
bicentenary of the proclamation of the first black state, Haiti, as well as
the reunion of the peoples of Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean
initiatives that marked the commemorative year was a virtual
exhibition, Lest We Forget: The Triumph over Slavery, created by
the Schomburg Center for Research in Black
Culture and New York Public Library.
Another effort that was launched during the year was a research and
information programme, Forgotten Slaves. The programme was
implemented by the French Marine Archaeology
Group (GRAN) with the support of UNESCO. It was inspired by the wreck of the slave ship l’Utile off the shores of the Tromelin
Island in the Indian Ocean in 1761 and was intended to be
part of an information campaign to raise awareness of both the
history of slavery and modern forms of slavery.