The United Nations and countries around the world will hold memorial ceremonies commemorating the victims of the Holocaust on Monday, the International Holocaust Memorial day.
A special UN ceremony will be held at UN headquarters in New York. The evening will be themed "Journeys through the Holocaust" and will feature a video message from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Ban Ki-moon recently released the video, reflecting on his visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland late last year.
"I will never forget my visit. I saw the horrific remnants of the machinery of genocide... The United Nations was founded to prevent any such horrors from happening ever again," Ban Ki-Moon stated.
“We will continue to shine a light on these unspeakable crimes so that they may never be repeated.” Emphasizing the importance of formal instruction on this subject, the secretary-general has also said that education and public awareness are the first defense against prejudice, ethnic hatred and intolerance.
The Oscar-winning film director, writer and producer Steven Spielberg was scheduled to deliver the keynote address during the UN ceremony.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to speak at the United Nations on this significant day of remembrance,” said Spielberg.
European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton also related to International Holocaust day Monday, emphasizing the importance of fighting racism.
"On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we must keep alive the memory of this tragedy. It is an occasion to remind us all of the need to continue fighting prejudice and racism in our own time. We must remain vigilant against the dangers of hate speech and redouble our commitment to prevent any form of intolerance. The respect of human rights and diversity lies at the heart of what the European Union stands for," Ashton stated.
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