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Message from Mr. Kiyo Akasaka,
Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information
to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum training seminar -
“The History of the Holocaust: Confronting Hatred, Preventing Genocide and Cultivating Moral Responsibility” 14 to 18 May 2007
Washington, D.C.

I would like to extend my best wishes as you embark on this exciting journey into the past in order to help shape the future.  History has shown that the Holocaust was intimately linked to the founding of the United Nations.  We are therefore particularly grateful to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the opportunity to examine the factors that led to this tremendous crime and its impact on the world today.  Together, you will devise strategies to raise awareness of the dangers of intolerance and find effective ways to combat this most serious crime against humanity--genocide. 

During the week ahead, you’ll receive substantive insights from experts, educators and historians at the Museum.  I urge you to be curious, ask questions and reflect on ways in which you can enhance outreach activities in your respective countries in the areas of Holocaust remembrance, human rights and genocide prevention.

As you know, one of the Department’s goals is greater integration of the network of UN Information Centres into our communications strategies. The Holocaust and the United Nations outreach programme is helping to achieve this by providing you with the tools you need to become more effective communicators and more knowledgeable about these priority issues. 

I wish to thank the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the creative energy shown by its staff in developing this meaningful programme and the financial support it has provided to help make this groundbreaking event possible.

I am very pleased that the Museum and the Holocaust and United Nations outreach programme have forged this new partnership, which will strengthen our ability to promote Holocaust education and genocide prevention. And it is particularly gratifying that the information officers in the field, who are so vital to our worldwide outreach efforts, are the beneficiaries.

I wish you all a very productive and exciting week.

Press Release - 14 May 2007