Castries, Saint Lucia, September 29, 2021:– The new Saint Lucia Government is calling for the demand by former European colonies today for Reparations from Europe for Slavery and Native Genocide from European Union (EU) member-states that built empires from Trans-Atlantic Slavery “to be treated with the seriousness and urgency it requires.”
Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre also condemns “the double standards in the international system” in “acknowledging and compensating victims of Crimes Against Humanity.”
Delivering his inaugural address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25 – two months after his ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) won the July 26th General Elections with a 13-4 margin – the new Saint Lucia PM called for more traction in the region’s Reparations struggle.
Exploited and Underdeveloped
He said, “Caribbean countries like ours that were exploited and underdeveloped to finance the development of Europe have put forward a case for Reparations for Slavery and Native Genocide and we expect that case to be treated with the seriousness and urgency it deserves.”
Breaking-out of the related silence of his predecessor (ex-Prime Minister Allen Chastanet) on the issue, the Saint Lucia leader also lamented that while some victims of genocide have been justly rewarded, descendants of victims of European slavery in the Caribbean, the Americas and Africa are finding difficulties making their case, as guilty nations dodge or duck their responsibilities to the descendants of victims of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
No Double Standards
“There should be no double-standards in the international system in recognizing, acknowledging and compensating victims of crimes against humanity,” the Saint Lucia PM told fellow Caribbean and African, Latin American and other world leaders at the UNGA’s 76th Session.
As such, he added, “St. Lucia urges that the principles which have applied to other victims of mass slavery and such forms of exploitation, genocide be applied — with equal force and sincerity and seriousness of purpose — to Caribbean nations that suffered more than three decades of Slavery and Native Genocide between 1492 and 1838 by the colonizing powers of Europe.”
According to PM Pierre, “St. Lucia fully endorses” the stance of the CARICOM’s Reparations Commission (CRC), which says in its related Ten-Point Plan): Our Reparations Movement is a moral, legal and political response to the Crimes Against Humanity committed during the European imperial project – specifically the Genocide against the native population and the trading and enslavement of enchained bodies of Africans.
Quoting “One of our Natural Laureates” – [Poet Robert Lee] to make the point that Saint Lucia is no longer a colony, Prime Minister Pierre said, “St. Lucia is a State, not a Real Estate, nor a Plantation Estate…”
The new Saint Lucia leader said the legacy of slavery “is an open wound crying out for justice, healing, compassion and closure, and it continues to fester with every discriminatory decree or decision of the OECD and such other hegemonic groupings.”
He argued that “If the international system is to work fairly for all nations, wrong cannot continue to be strong and might cannot continue to be right.”
The PM therefore urged “a return to our core principles of peace, harmony, fairness, tolerance and non-interference in the internal politics of sovereign states.”
He also urged that in pursuit of better for nations, all will need to be “guided by the golden chord of mutual respect and universal fraternity, particularly in these perilous times which demand that we recognize our common humanity above anything else.”