The Transatlantic Slave Trade

The impact the transatlantic slave had on the world’s history reveals the importance of the contributions of each individual involved in it. As Professor Abena Busia noted, when people think of the slave trade, the stress is on the word “slave,” not on the word “trade,” and looking at it with the focus on trade in a historical and contemporary context reveals its significance and present effects.

In the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade, before being slaves, each individual was part of a family, played a role to contribute to their family, and led normal lives. Although we learn of the harsh conditions slaves went through while traveling to the Americas and other territories, the slaves flourished in Latin America early on. With a robust African population, Africans in Spain that traveled early to Latin America were essential in the destruction of regimes and construction of lands. In the 1500’s Africans helping conquer lands were free to work, entrusted with arms, and helped build forts and buildings. African conquistadors were even given gold and entrusted to be translators, but the wealth and status they acquired was soon lost as white settlers seized the lands. With white settlers wanting to take over land and not wanting to perform the functions needed to do so, they turned the Africans into slaves for free labor.

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Picture from: http://www.un.org

 

Although the slaves endured much, their trauma created significant socioeconomic contributions. Their work created wealth for families, increased trade of goods through their labor, and developed economic enterprises. Their political activism of resistance to slavery was and continues to be one of the biggest impacts the slaves left for people of African descent. Their experiences have passed on essential values that continue to impact the world today.

Meeting: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Socio-Economic Contributions of People of African Descent

Date/Location: Thursday, March 30, 2017; 11:00 to 12:45; Economic and Social Council Chamber

Speakers: Hawa Diallo, Public Information Officer, NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events, Department of Public Information; Abena P.A. Busia, Professor, Rutgers University; Ben Vinson III, Dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, George Washington University; Verene A. Shepherd, Professor, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus; Joseph E. Inikori, Professor, University of Rochester; Cy Richardson, Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Programs, National Urban League;

Written By: Leticia Murillo, WIT Representative

ITCs for Development

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Marie Paule Roudil, the director of UNESCO, discussed the importance of community media. UNESCO is attempting to conclude crimes against journalists, as one of its goals is to facilitate media development. The significant impact which information and communications technologies (ICT) can have on sustainable development was also discussed from various angles. Financial inclusion, a broadened distribution of information and an increase in the quality of education were predicted from a future with greater ICT access. Ms. Roudil continued by explaining that press freedom and access to information are sustainable development goals.

In making a comparison, Ms. Roudil elucidated that 6.7% of households situated in least developed countries (LDC) have access to the Internet, while 34.1% of household in developed countries have access to the Internet. Statistical discrepancies also exist between the amount of ICT access in rural and urban areas, financially secure and financially insecure areas and between males and females.

Ms. Pitchaporn Liwjaroen of Thailand called for inclusive sustainable development. Often, due to gender-based prejudice, females are not afforded the same opportunities that their male counterparts are to access these resources. Inclusive development is called for in Agenda 2030.

To help promote the value of ICTs, various nations are instituting technology-based programs that offer scholarships and other opportunities to their respective pupils. Masud Bin Momen described IPOA, a scholarship for students in Bangladesh. Also, according to Ye Yongfeng, programs to teach coding in schools are being integrated in Singapore. The majority of delegates gave their condolences to the nation of Thailand for the death of their king, Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Ashish Kumar Sinha expressed that the integration of ICT in India has been through e-governance, which provides open, governmental information. This has helped empower vulnerable populations, including rural people. He discussed how better, real time information has been transforming public policy.

Meeting: Information and communications technologies for development

Date/ Location: Thursday, October 13th, 2016; 15:00-18:00; Conference Room 2

Speakers: Shamika Sirimanne, Director of ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division of. UNESCAP; Marie Paule Roudil, Director of UNESCO; Ms. Pitchaporn Liwjaroen, Second Secretary of Development Affairs Division of Department of International Organizations of Thailand; Dato Abdul Ghafar Ismail, New Permanent Representative of Brunei Darussalam; Pennelope Althea Beckles, new Permanent Representative of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh; Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of the Maldives; Maria Angela A. Ponce, Career Minister of Philippines; Ina Hagniningtyas Krisnamurthi, Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative of Indonesia; Ashish Kumar Sinha, First Secretary of India; Michael Ronen, Ambassador of Israel; Roman V Lopyrev, Delegate of Russian Federation; Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka; Abdullah Mohammed A Alghunaim, Ambassador of Afghanistan; Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal, Deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba; William José Calvo Calvo, Minister-Counselor of Costa Rica; Ye Yongfeng, Permanent Representative of Singapore; Carlos Sergio Sobral Duarte Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Embassy of Brazil; Raja Reza Raja Zaib Shah, Deputy Permanent Minister of Malaysia;  Nirmal Raj Kafle Deputy Head of Nepal; Ali Alnuaimi, Delegate of United Arab Emirates; Salvador De Lara Rangel, Counsellor of Mexico; Mounkaila Yacouba, Delegate of Niger; Tamara Kharashun, Counsellor of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus; Anthony Andanje, Ambassador/ Deputy Permanent Representative of Kenya; Liu Jun, Ambassador of China; Tekeda Alemu, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia; Ilkin Hajiyev, Third Secretary of Azerbaijan; Bankole Adeoye, Director of Second United Nations Division of Nigeria; Mr. Biljeek, Ambassador of Bahrain; Kadiatou Sall-Beye, International Telecommunication Union

Written By: Donna Sunny, WIT Representative

 

The Benefits of Girls Education

The Population Division organized and led the expert panel to discuss the known scientific knowledge on the main substantive issues on how population is an important factor in sustainable development and the sustainable development goals. The main panelist opened up the discussion with a PowerPoint highlighting how changes in age structure and demographics lead to a favorable working population. Having a favorable working population then leads to large socioeconomic improvements associated with behavioral changes and even societal health benefits. The next speaker, Sajeda Amin, led and introduced the Population Council’s work on livelihoods for adolescent girls. She stressed the need to invest in adolescent girls from not only a human rights perspective, but more of a strategic standpoint as well. The price of not investing in this demographic is high, as maternal morbidity rates, gender-based violence and HIV patients increase. To invest in this demographic, she stressed that investing in a girl’s education and providing resources to control fertility influences population growth. Dr. Amin showed a graph showing an inverse relationship in South Korean women, where fertility rates and female labor participation were directed in opposite directions. Thus, achieving sustainability depends critically on “investments in girls in settings where they are at high risk of dropping out of school, early marriage and early childbearing.” The next speaker, Mr. Eloundou-Enyegue talked about the demographic dividends gained from a changing population, in terms of health. He elaborated to state that there are many possible points of integration between sustainable development and population. He further addressed these variables between sustainable development and population including the growing economic inequality across the world. In closing, the main panelist stated that there is a clear correlation between population growth and the ability to sustain development, and stated that addressing these two issues collectively will pay dividends in the future.

Meeting: Expert panel on “Integrating Population Issues into Sustainable Development, Including in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” (organized by the Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA))

Thursday, January 22, 2015; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 5

Speakers: Dr. Sajeda Amin, Senior Associate of the Population Council; Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University

Written By: Daniel Cho

Edited By: Modou Cham