19 January 2009

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

"Let Us Remember the Victims of the Holocaust by Reaffirming Our Faith in the Dignity and Equal Rights of all Members of the Human Family"

Message on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, 27 January 2009

VIENNA, 27 January (UN Information Service) - Today we remember the millions of victims of the Nazis - nearly one third of the Jewish people and countless other minorities - who suffered atrocious acts of discrimination, deprivation, cruelty and murder.

New initiatives in Holocaust remembrance and education have given us an authentic basis for hope. That hope is the theme of this year's observance.

But we can and must do more if we are to make that hope a reality.

We must continue to examine why the world failed to prevent the Holocaust and other atrocities since. That way, we will be better armed to defeat anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance.

We must continue to teach our children the lessons of history's darkest chapters. That will help them do a better job than their elders in building a world of peaceful coexistence.

We must combat Holocaust denial, and speak out in the face of bigotry and hatred.

And we must uphold the standards and laws that the United Nations has put in place to protect people and fight impunity for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Our world continues to be plagued by ruthless violence, utter disregard for human rights, and the targeting of people solely for who they are.

On this fourth International Day of Commemoration, let us remember the victims of the Holocaust by reaffirming our faith in the dignity and equal rights of all members of the human family. And let us pledge to work together to turn today's hope into tomorrow's better future.

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