Press Release 

Senior United Nations officials visit Yad Vashem on 

International Day of Commemoration in the Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust 

Jerusalem, Monday 27 January 2014

The Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Assistant Secretary-General James W. Rawley, visited Yad Vashem today, together with Heads of UN Agencies and UN staff. The visit was held on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, established in 2005 by a landmark UN General Assembly resolution.  United Nations offices worldwide, including UN Headquarters in New York, hold ceremonies of remembrance on this day, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.   

Mr. Rawley laid a wreath on behalf of the United Nations at the “Yizkor” memorial. The UN delegation then visited the exhibition "My Brother's Keeper, 50 years of Honoring Righteous Among The Nations" and a memorial for children killed in the Holocaust.

In his remarks, Mr. Rawley said “More than six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, only because they were Jewish. The Righteous among the Nations remind us that it is possible, and indeed a duty, to remain a human being even in the darkest hours.” Mr. Rawley added that it was the obligation of the United Nations and the international community to never forget the gruesome crimes of the Holocaust, and remember and teach its lessons.

“The Secretary-General visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in November and was overwhelmed by the enormity of what happened there to millions of Jews and other groups. He called on all to prevent such horror from happening again anywhere, to anyone, or any group. Today we are here, as one United Nations family, to show our rejection of anti-Semitism – indeed all forms of extremist ideology and racism – and our commitment to human rights and dignity for all”.