14 May 2007
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York




The United Nations Department of Public Information’s “Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme” has initiated a new partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to better equip the Department’s Information Officers to develop activities on the lessons to be learned from the Holocaust.  The Outreach Programme and the Museum will organize a seminar on “The History of the Holocaust: Confronting Hatred, Preventing Genocide and Cultivating Moral Responsibility,” 14-18 May in Washington, D.C.

Developed by the Museum’s National Institute for Holocaust Education, the seminar will outline the circumstances that led to the Holocaust and their relevance today.  Information Officers from United Nations Information Centres in Asuncion, Bogota, Buenos Aires, La Paz, Lima, Mexico City, Panama City, Port of Spain, Rio de Janeiro and Washington, D.C., will take part.

The week-long series of briefings and discussion will be conducted in English and Spanish by experts in Holocaust studies and genocide prevention.  While providing participants with the historical background and context in which the Holocaust took place, the seminar will explore a number of themes central to the rise of the Nazis, including the racist ideology that resulted in the attempted extermination of the Jews and the impact that this has had on contemporary society.  Participants will explore how intolerance can lead to the breakdown of democratic values and, in its extreme form, genocide.  They will also examine the moral obligation and responsibility that each community has -- both individually and collectively -- to protect human rights and preserve human dignity.

The participants will be able to support the development of educational programmes by Member States that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust, as mandated by General Assembly resolution 60/7.  The United Nations Information Centres, Services and offices are located in more than 60 countries and provide local communities with up-to-date information on the United Nations and its activities.  More information on the activities of these field offices can be accessed at www.un.org/aroundworld/unics.

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum stimulates leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity and strengthen democracy.  Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanence and donors nationwide make possible its educational activities and global outreach.  For more information, visit www.ushmm.org or call Andy Hollinger, Media Relations Director, at 202 488 6133.

The Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme was established in 2006 to warn against the dangers of hatred, bigotry, prejudice and racism in order to help prevent genocide.  More information can be found at www.un.org/holocaustremembrance, or by contacting Kimberly Mann, Chief, Advocacy Unit, Outreach Division at 212 963 6835, mann@un.org.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record