By 2012, a memorial to victims of slavery

India has donated $250,000 to an international trust fund being raised for a permanent memorial at the UN Headquarters in New York to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.

The fund, launched in May last year, has India as the largest single contributor and the latest donation means that about $700,000 has been raised so far – less than a quarter of the $4.5 million that is estimated to be needed if the memorial is to be erected by 2012.

The upcoming memorial is to serve as a living reminder to the international community of the need to maintain momentum in combating the legacy of slavery, including pernicious contemporary forms of the practice.

And the Indian contribution Friday prompted UN officials to call on Member States and private donors to support the trust fund generously.

In 2007, the General Assembly commemorated the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade by designating 25 March as an annual day of remembrance and endorsing the idea of constructing a permanent memorial at UN Headquarters in acknowledgment of the tragedy and consideration of its legacy.

Raymond Wolfe of Jamaica is heading efforts to erect the memorial, while a committee of interested States is also participating in the trust fund.

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