27 January 2006

General Assembly President Pays Tribute to Holocaust Victims, Survivors at Candlelight Vigil

NEW YORK, 26 January (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the message by General Assembly President Jan Eliasson (Sweden) on the occasion of the Candlelight Vigil in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, at United Nations Headquarters today:

We meet here tonight to pay tribute to the millions of people who lost their lives during the Holocaust, which remains one of history's most heinous and abject crimes against humanity.

Tonight, we also honour the survivors of the Holocaust.  You are the living reminders of the atrocities committed against millions of innocent people out of hatred, bigotry and racism.

This candlelight vigil -- at United Nations Headquarters -- symbolizes universal condemnation of the barbarous crime of genocide committed by the Nazi regime. 

The General Assembly on 1 November 2005 rejected "... any denial of the Holocaust as an historic event, either in full or part" and established 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.  The elimination of millions of your relatives, friends and others and your untold suffering will be remembered each year by the world community on this day.

You the survivors stand here tonight as living candles that reveal the horrors of the death camps.  You are the shining testimony of the enduring triumph of life over death.  You also shed light on the other crimes of genocide that the world has tragically been unable to prevent after the Holocaust.

In honouring the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust, let us recommit ourselves individually and collectively to do everything to prevent future crimes against humanity, whenever and wherever they may occur.

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