Let us build a future of dignity and equality for all: UN Secretary-General's message on International Holocaust Remembrance Day
On 27 January International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is observed. The theme for the Holocaust remembrance and education activities in 2017 is “Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future”. The theme emphasises the fact that Holocaust education has a universal dimension and can serve as an appropriate platform for building respect for human rights, increasing tolerance and defending our common humanity. The Holocaust was a defining point in history and its lessons have much to teach about the danger of extremism and the prevention of genocide today.
UN Secretary-General's message on International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
Today, we honour the victims of the Holocaust, an incomparable tragedy in human history.
The world has a duty to remember that the Holocaust was a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people and so many others.
It would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis. On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred, scapegoating and discrimination targeting the Jews, what we now call anti-Semitism.
Tragically, and contrary to our resolve, anti-Semitism continues to thrive. We are also seeing a deeply troubling rise in extremism, xenophobia, racism and anti-Muslim hatred. Irrationality and intolerance are back.
This is in complete contrast to the universal values enshrined in the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We can never remain silent or indifferent when human beings are suffering.
We must always defend the vulnerable and bring tormentors to justice.
And as the theme of this year’s observance highlights, a better future depends on education.
After the horrors of the 20th century, there should be no room for intolerance in the 21st. I guarantee you that as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will be in the frontline of the battle against anti-Semitism and all other forms of hatred.
Let us build a future of dignity and equality for all – and thus honour the victims of the Holocaust who we will never allow to be forgotten.