Address by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Knut Ostby, at the event to commemorate the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Yangon University Arts Hall

Holocaust Statement by RCHC

Address by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Knut Ostby, at the event to commemorate the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Yangon University Arts Hall, 24th January 2018

 

Excellency U Naing Ngan Lin, Minister for Social Affairs, Yangon Region

Rector of Yangon University, Prof. Dr. Pho Kaung

Ambassador of Israel, Excellency Mr. Daniel Zonshine,

Ambassador of Germany, Excellency Mrs. Dorothee Janerzke- Wenzel

Honored guests, Professors and students from Yangon University, Mingalarbar.

 

Holocaust - Auk May Bweh - akhann annaar –goh - tet yauk thaw -gonthayay shii - lujee minn myar aalon, Mingalarbar.

(Mingalarbar to all the distinguished guests attending the Holocaust memorial ceremony.)

 

Allow me to first thank the Ministry of Education and Yangon University for hosting this event and the Embassy of Israel, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Goethe Institute for your kind support in organizing the event today.

At the Sixtieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Member States adopted a resolution to commemorate memory of the victims of the Holocaust.  United Nations therefore designated 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

The theme of the Holocaust memorial ceremony this year, is “Holocaust Remembrance and Education: Our Shared Responsibility”. The theme highlights the universal dimension of the Holocaust and encourages education on this tragedy so that future generations will firmly reject all forms of racism, violence and anti-Semitism.  

As we all know, the Holocaust did not happen in a vacuum.    Laws that enshrined discrimination were adopted.  Propaganda poisoned millions of minds. Step by step, social order broke down and people were drawn in – as perpetrators, as passive supporters, as victims, with genocide as the end result.  We have an obligation to never lose sight of what went wrong and how it happened. 

In the lobby to this hall, you will see a set of prize- winning posters from the International Poster Competition, a joint project of Yad Vashem and The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme and endorsed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Students of Art and Design from participating countries were invited to submit original posters on the theme "Keeping the Memory Alive - Our Shared Responsibility” in keeping with the designated theme of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme in 2018.

I would like to end with quoting what the UN Secretary-General said in his video message for this Day of Commemoration of the Holocaust:

(And I quote)

We must stand together against the normalization of hate.

Whenever and wherever humanity’s values are abandoned, we are all at risk.

All of us have a responsibility to quickly, clearly and decisively resist racism and violence.

Through education and understanding, we can build a future of dignity, human rights and peaceful coexistence for all. (End of quote)

Thank you very much.