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UN Deputy Secretary-General Pays Tribute to
Victims Murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau

UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro stressed the importance of education and learning from history in order to combat hatred, racism and Holocaust denial, in a memorial ceremony at Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, where over one million people, mostly Jews, were murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

    Only near the end of the war did the world begin to grasp the extent of the genocide and crimes committed here. Even now, decades later, we still have much to learn. That is why the United Nations instituted an annual day of commemoration in memory of the victims. And that is why the United Nations General Assembly called for an outreach programme to develop educational materials about the Holocaust. To help people understand what happened here.

The Deputy Secretary-General was joined by Irina Bukova, Director-General of UNESCO, and a delegation of  government representatives, and eminent personalities, including muslim leaders and the Aladdin Project. Among members of the delegation were President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference; former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder; former Croatian President Stepjan Mesic; former Mauritanian President Mohamed Vall; and Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Representatives of the heads of State of Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey also participated as did the mayors of 12 cities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Deputy Secretary-General's opening remarks at press conference for visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Paris, France, 31 January 2011

Combating Holocaust denial, UN leads delegation to Auschwitz camp, 1 February 2011