23-27 August 1999
The World Heritage Youth Forum and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
By mobilizing the youth from different schools all around the world, UNESCO desired, through the Associated Schools Network to
Knowing the past young people can better understand the present and prepare the future. UNESCO has also set as a goal not to feed bitterness nor forget the past, but to increase the knowledge and to teach young people to forgive.
The teachers got to known with the new pedagogic Kit published by UNESCO "the World Heritage in Young Hands: Know, Cherish and Act" as well as a Kit on the Slave Trade "Breaking the Silence".
We, the young people of the World, gathered at the World Heritage Youth Forum and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, held at Dakar-Gorée, Senegal, from 23 to 27 August 1999, believe that:
The workshops permitted the participants to initiate with dance, painting, information technology, theater and communication, but they especially made the youth to realize all the aspects of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the tragic history of Africa.
The Young confirmed their refuse to forget this past, as well as their will to forgive and to construct a future based on mutual respect and solidarity between nations and people.
We, the Young people of the world; take the responsibility to fight for the preservation of cultural and natural heritage of all people and all nations, in order to preserve and transmit it to the future generations.
We consider that, aside the important task of preservation, we must valuate and cherish the World Heritage. It is not only a symbol of the richness of people, but a confirmation of their cultural identity.
The message of the Youth of the 4th Forum, in Dakar, was addressed to UNESCO, to all member states and to all persons worried about the development of nations, in peace and harmony between people, in the continuously better world liberated of the injustices.
The young people of the African, European and American continents met between 22nd and 26th of August in Dakar and in Goree, in the "World Heritage Youth Forum and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade".
At this occasion, we, coordinators of projects and teachers of the young students, who took part in the Forum:
We demand collectivities to:
1° return the historic truth in order to break the wall of silence surrounding the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade with the principal objective to find a mutual understanding between the people;
2° to realize the unity of people who open their doors in order to build a new world
The Forum was a crossroad of exchange between the young. This made an intercultural dialogue, based on a mutual respect and solidarity between people, possible.
For the teachers the Forum offered an opportunity to
108 participants and observers of which
104 students and teachers from Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cap Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Chad, Togo, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad Barbados, Curacao, Portugal, France, Norway, Denmark, Brazil, Cuba, St Croix, Jamaica, Reunion, Senegal.
4 Observers: Mme Ligia Coota Leite (Brazil), M Naimi (Morocco), M Radoine (IFRAN Morocco), M Poudroux (Reunion).
National Commission of Senegal for UNESCO;
Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD);
Ministry of Youth;
Ministry of Culture;
Ministry of Environment;
Senegalese Federation of the UNESCO Clubs.
Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cap Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Chad, Togo, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad Barbados, Curacao, Portugal, France, Norway, Denmark, Brazil, Cuba, St Croix, Jamaica, Reunion, Senegal
Le professor Hilary Macdonald Beckles, Pro-vice Chancellor, University of WEST Indies (Jamaica); Professor Emmannuel Buteau, Director, Collège les Normaliens Réunis (Haiti); Professor Jean-Michel Deveau, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France) ; Mme Marie Hareide, Secretary-General of the Norvegian National Commission for UNESCO (Norway); Professor Akosua Perbi, University of Ghana (Ghana); Professor Joël Rufino dos Santos, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Professor Elysée Soumoni, Université Nationale de Bénin (Benin), M George Tyson, President of the Sainte Croix Landmark Society (Virgin Islands U.S.A.) and Professor Jean Claude William, President, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane (Martinique).