Message from Mr. Kiyo Akasaka,
Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information
“International Forum on Holocaust Awareness
and Genocide Prevention”
27 October to 2 November 2007
I would like to extend my best wishes to all of you as you embark on your moving journey into the past – in order to help influence our present and future.
The United Nations must never forget that it was founded as a reaction to the brutality of the Second World War, or that the horrors of the Holocaust helped to shape its mission. That response is enshrined in our Charter, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We are grateful to Yad Vashem for this opportunity to examine together the motives that led to the human tragedy of the Holocaust, and to understand how and why its lessons are so important today.
During the week ahead, you will receive substantive insights from experts, educators and historians at the Museum, and will discuss creative ways to communicate messages of tolerance. I encourage you to ask questions and reflect on ways in which you can enhance outreach activities in your respective countries in the areas of Holocaust remembrance, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the prevention of genocide.
One of the Department of Public Information’s goals is greater integration of the network of UN Information Centres in our communications strategies. Seminars like this one, in partnership with world-renowned institutions, help us to achieve this goal.
I thank the inspired staff of Yad Vashem for their continuing support of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme. I am delighted that our partnership has expanded to reach our valued colleagues in the field.