UNITED NATIONS, LE MÉMORIAL DE LA SHOAH TO HOLD INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON HOLOCAUST AWARENESS, GENOCIDE PREVENTION

9 November 2007
PI/1808

UNITED NATIONS, LE MÉMORIAL DE LA SHOAH TO HOLD INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON HOLOCAUST AWARENESS, GENOCIDE PREVENTION

9 November 2007
Press Release
PI/1808
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

UNITED NATIONS, LE MÉMORIAL DE LA SHOAH TO HOLD INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR


ON HOLOCAUST AWARENESS, GENOCIDE PREVENTION

 


The United Nations Department of Public Information’s Holocaust Outreach Programme will partner with Le Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris, France, to hold a seminar on Holocaust remembrance and genocide prevention from 10 to 17 November.


Participants will be United Nations Information Officers from Africa and the Middle East whom the programme intends to support in the development of outreach programmes and partnerships in the areas of Holocaust remembrance and human rights.  The seminar, conducted in French, also includes a two-day trip to Poland to visit Kazimierz, the former Jewish neighbourhood of Kraków and the former Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz Birkenau.


“We are grateful to Le Mémorial de la Shoah for hosting this meaningful seminar.  The United Nations was founded in large measure as a response to the horrors of Nazism and the Holocaust.  Auschwitz, where more than a million Jewish men, women and children were brutally murdered, has become the symbol to the world of the danger and magnitude of genocide which it is our mission to avert,” said Kiyo Akasaka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.


Organized by Le Mémorial de la Shoah, the seminar will outline the circumstances that led to the Holocaust and emphasize the evolution of anti-Semitism and intolerance that led to the attempted extermination of the Jewish people in Europe.  The national information officers will examine the failure of the global community to act and how this has impacted the world today.  The participants will include information officers from the global network of United Nations information centres located in Antananarivo, Beirut, Brazzaville, Brussels, Bujumbura, Cairo, Dakar, Geneva, Lomé, Ouagadougou and Yaoundé.


“It is our responsibility towards the millions of victims of the Holocaust to use their story to teach endlessly, to educate, to make people understand how easy it is to go from contempt to discrimination, from discrimination to hatred, from hatred to violence.  As tensions between the different communities keep growing, this seminar with the United Nations will allow the information officers to communicate better about persisting anti-Semitism and racism that lead inevitably to the destruction of individual freedom and democracy,” said Eric de Rothschild, President of Mémorial.


At the conclusion of this seminar, the third in a series, the Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme will have reached more than half of the national information officers in the global network of United Nations information centres.  The previous seminars were held in May at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., for information officers from the Americas and in October at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for information officers from Eastern Europe and Asia.  The United Nations information officers will apply the principles learned at the seminar to outreach efforts in their areas of work that promote respect for diversity and human rights, and to support programmes by Member States and civil society organizations that have been asked by the General Assembly to further awareness and education about the Holocaust and its lessons. 


The Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme, mandated by General Assembly resolution 60/7, was established in 2006 to honour the memory of the victims and promote knowledge about the Holocaust to help prevent future acts of genocide.  The resolution asked the United Nations to observe, on 27 January each year, an International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945.  As part of a multifaceted range of activities, the outreach programme hosts an annual seminar, in which Member States and non-governmental organizations examine the underlying causes of genocide.


The 2007 seminar, on combating hatred, was held on 8 November at United Nations Headquarters in New York.  More information on the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme’s seminars, film screenings and special events can be obtained at www.un.org/holocaustremembrance or by contacting Kimberly Mann, Chief, Advocacy Unit, Outreach Division at:  +1 212 963 6835; e-mail: mann@un.org.


Inaugurated by Jacques Chirac, former President of France, on 27 January 2005, Le Mémorial de la Shoah, situated in Paris, has now become Europe's reference institution on the Holocaust.  “Understanding the past to illuminate the future” is the stated mission of this museum, documentation centre and place of remembrance.  Open to a broad and diversified audience, it houses many memorial spaces and offers an awareness-raising programme designed for all types of visitors.  More information can be found at www.memorialdelashoah.org, or by contacting:  +33 1 42 77 4472; e-mail: contact@memorialdelashoah.org.  Press contact:  Heymann, Renoult Associées, Tel: +33 1 44 61 7676, Fax: +33 1 44 61 7440.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.