“Memorial Drawings: Remembering the Holocaust Victims and their Liberators”
Remarks by Eric Falt
Representative of the United Nations Department of Public Information
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is my honour and privilege to represent the United Nations Department of Public Information tonight at the opening of this very special exhibition. As you know, as Under-Secretary-General Akasaka is away from Headquarters. I am truly delighted that the series of “Memorial Drawings: Remembering the Holocaust Victims and their Liberators” by Gennady Dobrov is included in the United Nations Holocaust remembrance observance this year. And I would like to thank the United Nations Information Centre in Moscow, one of the field offices of our global network, for its role in helping to make this exhibition possible.
Just two years ago, the General Assembly called for the establishment of the “Holocaust and the United Nations outreach programme” to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education in order to help prevent future acts of genocide.
I am very pleased to see that the programme has now firmly added the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation as one of its valuable partners. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ambassador Vitaly Churkin for his support and for bringing these powerful and meaningful works of art to the United Nations Headquarters.
The exhibition of Gennady Dobrov’s art that we are proud to open this evening is remarkable and moving. By bringing these impressions back from your visits to the death camps where millions perished, Mr. Dobrov invites us to remember the past and to think about how this past affects our future.
Next week, starting on 28 January, the Department of Public Information will observe the third annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, with a memorial ceremony and concert, including a keynote address on the topic “Civic responsibility and the preservation of democratic values.”
Tonight, I would like to highlight the fact that the Holocaust Remembrance resolution not only pays tribute to the victims of the Holocaust, including countless Russian Jews, but also honours “the courage and dedication shown by the soldiers who liberated the concentration camps”. While I greet the WW II veterans who are with us tonight, I wish to remember those who perished in the camps as prisoners of war.
I want to welcome all of you to the United Nations, and express our thanks for your support for this year’s Holocaust remembrance observance. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme produced, in honour of this event, the Russian version of our Holocaust Remembrance posters. They are available for you [in the back of the room] as a very small token of our appreciation.
Congratulations and thank you, veterans of WWII for your dedication and commitment for peace. We are honoured by your presence.