UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION OFFICERS TO ATTEND HOLOCAUST AWARENESS, GENOCIDE PREVENTION SEMINAR IN BERLIN, 13-18 APRIL

8 April 2008
PI/1824-RD/997

UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION OFFICERS TO ATTEND HOLOCAUST AWARENESS, GENOCIDE PREVENTION SEMINAR IN BERLIN, 13-18 APRIL

8 April 2008
Press Release
PI/1824 RD/997
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION OFFICERS TO ATTEND HOLOCAUST AWARENESS,

GENOCIDE PREVENTION SEMINAR IN BERLIN, 13-18 APRIL

 

The United Nations Department of Public Information will partner with the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site to hold a seminar, with support from the Government of Germany, on Holocaust remembrance and genocide prevention, from 13 to 18 April 2008 in Berlin, Germany.  Twenty-five United Nations Information Officers from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East will take part in the seminar.  During the week, the participants will examine the events that led to the Holocaust and the vital role its lessons have to play today in the prevention of genocide.

The aim of the training is to better equip the United Nations Information Officers from around the world with the skills and knowledge to promote Holocaust remembrance and outreach efforts on combating xenophobia and racism.   The seminar will include visits to the Jewish Museum of Berlin, the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial, the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial, the Topography of Terror Foundation (site of the former Nazi Headquarters) and the Berlin Holocaust Memorial.

“The United Nations appreciates this important partnership with the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site, and is grateful for the generous support of the German Government,” said Kiyo Akasaka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.  “The Secretary-General has said preventing genocide is a collective and individual responsibility.  This seminar will enable our staff around the world to help identify the underlying issues leading to genocide and the role of the United Nations in helping to prevent it,” he said.

The seminar will present an overview of the history of the Holocaust and trace the evolution of anti-Semitism.  Human rights experts will also review the international legal norms designed to deter, prosecute and punish crimes against humanity and genocide.  The participants will include Information Officers from the global network of United Nations information centres, information services and offices located in Accra, Almaty, Canberra, Colombo, Dar es Salaam, Dhaka, Harare, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Lagos, Lusaka, Maseru, Nairobi, New Delhi, Prague, Sana’a, Tashkent, Tehran, Tunis, Vienna, Warsaw, Windhoek and Yangon.

“It is a great honour for us that United Nations Information Officers from so many countries will come to Berlin to study the murder of the European Jews at historical sites.  We are pleased that the House of the Wannsee Conference, in cooperation with colleagues from other institutions, can provide a programme which offers many opportunities to discuss the Holocaust and its relevance today,” said Norbert Kampe, Director, House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site.

The Berlin seminar is the fourth in a series on the Holocaust and genocide prevention, funded by the Department’s civil society partners and organized by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, of the Outreach Division.  Previous seminars were held in May 2007 at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., for offices in the Americas; in October 2007 at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for offices in Eastern Europe and Asia; and in November 2007 at Le Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris for offices from Africa and the Middle East.

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 of the Holocaust and to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.  More information on the Programme’s seminars, film series, discussion papers and other projects can be obtained at www.un.org/holocaustremembrance, or by contacting Kimberly Mann, Information Officer, Outreach Division, at tel.: +1 212 963 6835, e-mail: mann@un.org.

The House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site was opened in 1992.  Since then, the memorial and educational centre has been offering seminars for civil servants and other professionals to analyse how administrative structures and patterns of compliant behaviour were indispensable for the smooth-functioning apparatus required to implement the Holocaust.  For more information on the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site, please contact Wolf Kaiser, Deputy Director, at tel.: + 49 30 805 001, e-mail: wkaiser@ghwk.de.

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