Remembering: the Bicentennial of the Abolition of the Slave Trade

William Hague

William Hague speaks on the abolition of slavery

Today is the international day of Slavery Remembrance, which William Hague has marked out as one of the most memorable days in British history with his entry to the JTC. He remembers 25th March, 2007- the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery and a day which changed the moral fibre of our country forever.

In his entry he talks about William Wilberforce, the British philanthropist who battled to abolish the slave trade for 26 years before the Slave Trade Act of 1807 was finally passed, and slavery was officially abolished in Britain. He also remembers the famous slave, Olaudah Equiano, whose best-selling accounts of his own life and the barbarity of the slave trade, played a big role in stirring public feelings of anti-slave trade sentiment.

“Today, human-slavery reaches across every continent and culture…” – William Hague.

In his entry William Hague points to the abolition of the slave trade as a moment in history which we can take courage from. He draws attention to the 800,000 people who are estimated to be trafficked across international borders each year, and the ongoing battle which needs to be fought against modern slavery.

You can see his entry by clicking here.

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Foreign Secretary William Hague Remembers the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade

William Hague speaks about the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade

Foreign Secretary William Hague speaks about the bicentenary of the slave trade in Britain.  

We are very pleased to have received a Jubilee Time capsule entry from the Foreign Secretary of the UK, William Hague!

Mr. Hague recalls giving a speech to Parliament on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. His speech, included in the entry, marks the important landmark in British and Parliamentary history and is very insightful about the legacy of abolition.

What events have had an important legacy in your country? Tell us in the Jubilee Time Capsule.

Hague reaffirms Commonwealth is “back at the very heart of British foreign policy”

At a speech given at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association last week British Foreign Secretary William Hague stated that “this government has put the Commonwealth back at the very heart of British foreign policy for the first time in more than a decade”.

Hague describes the Commonwealth as the “ultimate network”, saying: “It has extraordinary reach – across 54 countries, six continents and oceans and two billion citizens.

“It is united by the same principles of liberty, democracy and human rights, but at the same time it is extraordinarily diverse: demonstrating that democracy allows countries to develop in their own way, and that it provides the essential foundations for sound economic development. The Commonwealth is a powerful global brand that many millions of people around the world are proud to be associated with, as our Government and our Parliament certainly are.”

Hague goes on to say that the upcoming CHOGM in Perth, in October, has the potential to act as a catalyst in re-defining the Commonwealth “reforming its current structures and laying new plans for the future and creating the basis for a reinvigorated Commonwealth with a more ambitious remit”. 

He believes that there is room for change in three key areas: 1) strengthening the Commonwealth’s work on human rights and democracy; 2) increasing the Commonwealth’s engagement on global economic issues; 3) developing the Commonwealth’s role in development and conflict prevention.

Hague concludes “It is truly an exciting time for the Commonwealth and I look forward to CHOGM, as I am sure you do, with anticipation, hope and optimism”.

To read the full speech please visit the FCO website.