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Dutch Prime Minister to deliver groundbreaking slavery speech next week

The Dutch government announced on Wednesday that Prime Minister Mark Rutte will deliver a speech on slavery on December 19, but has not confirmed reports that he will formally apologize for the role of the Netherlands.

Ministers will also travel to former colonies in South America and the Caribbean that suffered during the 250-year slave trade that helped fund the Dutch economic and cultural “golden age.”

Many colonial groups are vocally opposed to a formal apology at this stage, saying the Dutch had not consulted with them about the plan beforehand.

The Dutch government said Mr Rutte was scheduled to give a speech at the National Archives in The Hague.

Representatives from the small former South American colony of Suriname and six Caribbean countries still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will attend Rutte’s speech, the government said.

Ministers will also visit Suriname, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Aruba, Curacao, Saba and St. Eustatius, saying after the Dutch Prime Minister’s speech that he will “discuss with the attendees the Cabinet’s response and its significance”. rice field.

In a meeting with Rutte last week, the former colonial group called for an apology on July 1, 2023, the 150th anniversary of the end of slavery on Dutch-controlled lands.

Rutte claimed to move forward with a “meaningful moment” on Dec. 19, but didn’t confirm whether an apology would be included.

The Netherlands is slowly beginning to grapple with its colonial heritage and its role in the slave trade in South America, Asia and South Africa.

The city of Amsterdam has formally apologized for its role in the slave trade, and Amsterdam’s famous Rijksmuseum held its first exhibition to tackle the issue last year.

https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/dutch-pm-to-make-landmark-slavery-speech-next-week-450389/ Dutch Prime Minister to deliver groundbreaking slavery speech next week

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