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Statement by General Assembly President H.E. Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa

Dear friends,

On the second International Day for the Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust let us pay tribute to all victims: the needless deaths of millions of Jews, and the suffering endured by the many minority groups that were also victims of the Nazi regime, some of whom are represented here today.

It is 62 years since the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, which revealed one of the most horrendous crimes against humanity. Today's commemoration is an important reminder of the universal lessons of the Holocaust, a unique evil which cannot simply be consigned to the past and forgotten. The Holocaust was a historical event, which cannot be denied. Its consequences still reverberate in the present.

This tragic passage in human history must never again be repeated. In keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive we must also remember the importance of working together for a better future, for our shared world.

Through the Holocaust Remembrance Resolution, 60/7 of 1 November 2005, the General Assembly has condemned without reserve all manifestations of religious intolerance, and violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief.

The General Assembly also mandated the Secretary-General to establish an outreach programme for Holocaust remembrance to help prevent future acts of genocide, and to highlight the importance of education in promoting tolerance and ending discrimination against all minorities.

Today, through our remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust, and all other atrocities, we must reassert our commitment to uphold human rights.

It is a tragedy that the international community has not been able to stop new horrors in the years since the Holocaust. This makes it all the more important that we remember the lessons of the past so that we do not make the same mistakes in the future.

We must remain vigilant. The forces of hatred, bigotry and racism are still at work in the world. By ensuring that the suffering endured by the many victims of the Holocaust is never again repeated we can truly honor their memory. For the dignity of all humanity, we must reaffirm our unfaltering resolve to prevent such atrocities, whenever and wherever they might occur. In this regard, I am reminded of the words of the late Martin Luther King Jr.:

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere... Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

Thank you very much.

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