Every year on 27 January, the world community pays tribute to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to counter antisemitism, racism, and other forms of intolerance that may lead to group-targeted violence. The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet troops on 27 January 1945. It was officially proclaimed International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly. The 2018 commemorative theme “Holocaust Remembrance and Education: Our Shared Responsibility” underlines the continued duty to learn about and remember the Holocaust.
The Holocaust profoundly affected countries in which Nazi crimes were perpetrated, but also had universal implications and consequences in many other parts of the world. UN Member States share a collective responsibility for addressing the residual trauma, maintaining effective remembrance policies, caring for historic sites, and promoting education, documentation and research, seven decades after the genocide. This responsibility entails educating about the causes, consequences and dynamics of such crimes so as to strengthen the resilience of young people against ideologies of hatred. As genocide and atrocity crimes keep occurring across several regions, and as we are about to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, this has never been so relevant.
This globally important day seeks to remind the world of the lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.
Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations General Assembly reaffirms that 'the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one-third of the Jewish people along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice".
In addition, resolution 60/7 rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or in part, and commends those states which have actively engaged in the preservation of sites which served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps and prisons during the Holocaust.
United Nations Department of Public Information and United Nations Outreach Programme embarked on a number of activities, including special events, film screenings, discussion papers from leading academics, information materials, partnerships with intergovernmental organisations and other initiatives, to encourage awareness and remind the world of the threat posed to us all when genocide and crimes against humanity are allowed to occur.
Compiled by Law Desk (SOURCE: un.org | unesco.org).