20 June 2008
Press Release
Note No. 6159

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

Note to Correspondents


PANEL DISCUSSION ON CIVIL SOCIETY’S ROLE IN SUPPORT OF GENOCIDE PREVENTION,


ON SIXTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF SIGNING OF UNITED NATIONS CHARTER, 26 JUNE


On Thursday, 26 June, the sixty-third anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter, the Department of Public Information will hold a discussion, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium at Headquarters, on the theme “Saving Succeeding Generations”, to examine the individual and collective responsibility to protect those threatened by genocide and other crimes against humanity.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for the entire United Nations system to be empowered to shoulder the responsibility of preventing mass atrocities, which he has deemed one of the “most sacred callings” of the world body and the international community.  “Preventing genocide is a collective and individual responsibility,” he has said, stressing that Governments, the media, religious organizations, civil society groups and even individuals have their own role to play in this struggle.


The briefing, the second in a two-part series on genocide-related issues, is organized under the auspices of the Department of Public Information and the New York office of the United Nations University.  The meeting coincides with the anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter, and seeks to emphasize the linkage between the goals and values of the Organization and its mandated activities in the areas of Holocaust remembrance and genocide prevention.  The panellists will aim to stimulate debate on preventing the spread of hatred and bigotry and the protection of populations at risk.  Effective practices and communications tools in the campaign against mass violence will also be examined.


Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, will make introductory remarks and welcome the following panel of speakers: Edward C. Luck, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General; Robert Rozett, Director of Libraries, Yad Vashem the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority; Bridget Conley-Zilkic, Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience; Larry Swaider, Chief Information Officer, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Daphna Shraga, Principal Legal Officer, United Nations Office of Legal Affairs; and Joseph Rubagumya, a student from Rwanda.


This event is coordinated by the Outreach Division’s Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, which was established under General Assembly resolution 60/7 to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help prevent future acts of genocide.  For more information, please visit www.un.org/holocaustremembrance.


To register for the event, kindly indicate your intention to participate by Friday, 20 June, to holocaustremembrance@un.org.  Tickets will then be distributed prior to the event to the pre-registered guests, from 1:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. on 26 June, in the United Nations Headquarters public lobby (on 1st Avenue and 46th Street).  For further information, please contact Kimberly Mann at mann@un.org or +1 212 963 6835.


For media accreditation, please visit www.un.org/media/accreditation, or contact Gary Fowlie, Chief, Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, United Nations Department of Public Information, at +1 212 963 6937 or +1 212 963 4642 (fax).


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For information media • not an official record