Fact Sheet: Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme
On 1 November 2005, the General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/60/7 designating 27 January as International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. This day was designated to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations and to prevent genocide from occurring again.
27 January was chosen to be International Holocaust Remembrance Day as it marks the day on which the largest Nazi death camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland) was liberated by the Soviet army in 1945. Several countries already observe this day to remember Holocaust victims.
The General Assembly also requested the Secretary-General the establishment of an outreach programme in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide. The United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) has taken the lead in creating a broad initiative, designed to encourage the development by United Nations Member States of educational curricula on the subject of the Holocaust, and to mobilize civil society to promote education and awareness.
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Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme
The creation of the United Nations sparked from the horrors of World War II. One of the fundamental mandates, recorded in its Charter, is human rights for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.
At the inauguration of the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum (Jerusalem, Israel) in March 2005, Secretary-General Kofi Annan recalled that “worldwide revulsion at the genocide -- at the systematic murder of six million Jews and millions of others -- was also a driving force behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. The Secretary-General added that “the United Nations has a sacred responsibility to combat hatred and intolerance. A United Nations that fails to be at the forefront of the fight against anti-Semitism and other forms of racism denies its history and undermines its future”.
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