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Daniel Pearl Music Days


Daniel Pearl Music Days 2008 Edition- Soulfarm and Moshav Band

Welcoming remarks by Eric Falt,
Director of the Outreach Division, DPI

Dear Friends,
I am pleased to be with you tonight to honour the memory of Daniel Pearl, whose sacrifice, courage and faith in humanity inspires all of us to find ways to live together peacefully.  Every day, the United Nations, and our valued partners - in this case the Museum of Jewish Heritage -, search for new ways to promote respect for diversity here in New York and around the world.

We believe, like Danny, that music and dialogue can build bridges across cultures, the ideal which serves as the mission of the Daniel Pearl Foundation.  We join millions of people worldwide who attend concerts like this during the Daniel Pearl World Music Days in hopes of achieving international understanding and unity.  We at the United Nations are proud to be a part of this global movement.

This year we mark the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “Everyone has a right to life, liberty and security”.  Unfortunately, there are still so many instances of cruelty which contradict this simple truth.  Six years ago, I happened to be in Pakistan, serving as the Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Islamabad.  Along with friends, colleagues and Pakistanis alike, I hoped and prayed for Danny’s safe release and was shocked and dismayed by the eventual outcome.  His death serves as a reminder that aid workers, doctors, UN staff and journalists have become easy targets, despite the fact that they risk their lives to help others.

Last month, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strengthened the international community's resolve to fight acts of terrorism by convening the first-ever symposium to support victims of terrorism and their families.  He called upon the world to stand in solidarity against terrorism.

Tonight we remember Daniel Pearl, as well as all the innocent individuals that have suffered as a result of senseless violence.

Here at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, I must mention the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis.  The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme commemorates and honours victims of the Holocaust while turning our eye to the future, in an effort to prevent future acts of genocide around the world.  On 10 November, we will observe the 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom that took place on 9 and 10 November 1938 in Germany and signalled the escalation of violence against the Jewish people. 

The international community has to work together to help end terrorism at a global level.  Each one of us, at the local level, can also support this effort by extending our hand in friendship to those around us, respecting all people, and living up to the ideals inspired by this concert. 

I am sure by now you are more than ready to enjoy the music of Soulfarm and Moshav Band, so let me conclude by saying thank you and have a wonderful evening!