UN joins with Holocaust Museum to foster genocide prevention

By TwoCircles.net newsdesk

New York: United Nations information staff from around the Western Hemisphere are spending this week exploring the Holocaust and ways that public outreach can prevent future genocides.

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At a groundbreaking seminar at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., participants will examine topics as diverse as the genesis of famous anti-Semitic texts and genocide in the Internet era.

The seminar, “The History of the Holocaust: Confronting Hatred, Preventing Genocide and Cultivating Moral Responsibility,� is the result of a new partnership between the museum and the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).

Information Officers from UN Information Centres in Paraguay, Colombia, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil and the United States are taking part to support educational initiatives on the Holocaust by Member States, mandated in a 2005 General Assembly resolution.

They are exploring how intolerance can lead to the breakdown of democratic values and, in its extreme form, turn into mass killing, according to DPI’s outreach division.

They will also examine the moral obligation and responsibility that each community has – both individually and collectively – to protect human rights and preserve human dignity, the division said.

“History has shown that the Holocaust was intimately linked to the founding of the United Nations,� Kiyo Akasaka, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information said in a message to participants.

“I urge you to be curious, ask questions and reflect on ways in which you can enhance outreach activities in your respective countries in the areas of Holocaust remembrance, human rights and genocide prevention,� Mr. Akasaka said.

The seminar, which began yesterday and will run until 18 May, will be conducted in English and Spanish by experts in Holocaust studies and genocide prevention, with first-person presentations also given by Holocaust survivors.