Remarks by Mr. Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
- My name is Kiyo Akasaka and I am the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information of the United Nations. I am pleased to welcome you to the United Nations this evening for the screening of a very special documentary film: “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport”.
- I would like to take a moment to warmly welcome the Holocaust survivors who have joined us here this evening. We are deeply honoured by your presence tonight.
- The United Nations Department of Public Information is proud to include the screening of this film as one of the United Nations Holocaust remembrance activities this year.
- As many of you know, the United Nations observed the third International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust this past Monday, with a moving memorial and concert in the General Assembly Hall.
- The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was created at the request of the General Assembly two years ago. The UN Department of Public Information has taken the lead in creating a programme that seeks to remind the world of the lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust, in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.
- Tonight’s film is a reminder that the Holocaust will forever be a warning to all peoples of the dangers of racism and prejudice. But it is also an amazing human story of rescue.
- I would like to extend our deep appreciation to Warner Brothers Pictures and producer Deborah Oppenheimer for bringing this film to the United Nations, and for helping to make tonight’s event possible.
- I would now like to invite to the stage Ambassador Karen Pierce, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations. Great Britain played a central role in the story we are about to see, and we are honoured that Ambassador Pierce is with us this evening.
- Ambassador Pierce, the floor is yours.
Ambassador Pierce speaks
- Thank you very much Ambassador Pierce for these inspiring words.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, we will now view the film, after which we will have a discussion with Deborah Oppenheimer, the producer of the film, and Mr. David Marwell, Director of the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage --A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
Screening of movie
- It is now my great pleasure to introduce our two distinguished guests, Ms. Deborah Oppenheimer and Dr. David Marwell. But first, I congratulate you both on this wonderful film.
- Inspired by her quest to learn more about her mother’s experience on the Kindertransport, Deborah Oppenheimer’s research led her to produce, in the year 2000, this moving documentary.
- This Academy Award-winning film has seen great success since its premiere, and has been screened all around the world. Ms. Oppenheimer is currently writing a children’s book about her mother’s experiences.
- Mr. David Marwell is the Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage --A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, located in New York City. Mr. Marwell and the Museum are valuable partners in the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme.
- Mr. Marwell is an expert and a specialist on the subject of the Holocaust, and played an instrumental role in bringing this movie to life.
- We are delighted and honoured that you could both be here tonight to share your thoughts with our audience. Ms. Oppenheimer and Mr. Marwell will lead tonight’s discussion.
- You are all invited, after the discussion, to a reception outside this hall – and I would like, on behalf of the Department of Public Information, to thank Ms. Oppenheimer for her generosity in making the reception possible.
- Thank you.