Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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"We must resist discrimination of every kind"

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27 January 2015 – Today, seventy years after allied forces liberated the largest Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein call on all of us to "unite and to stop the cycles of discord and build a world of inclusion and mutual respect."

Seventy years ago, allied forces marched into the camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, putting an end to the cruel atrocities committed by the Nazis. Unprecedented in human history, more than a million inmates - primarily Jews - were systematically killed. This 'industrialized murder' was motivated by the race-based ideology of the Nazis, who sought to murder every last Jew and any others they considered to be inferior.

In response to the atrocities of the Holocaust and the Second World War, the Charter of the United Nations was designed, aiming to establish a new "vision of what the world should be". A world in which all people are able to exercise their human rights in freedom, dignity and equality, in full accordance with international human rights law.


An ongoing mission

But on this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day, both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein also warn for the "toxic influences of discrimination" the world still faces.

"Minorities everywhere often face bigotry. Sectarian tensions and other forms of intolerance are on the rise. Anti-Semitic attacks continue, with Jews being killed solely because they are Jews", says Mr Ban. "Vulnerable communities around the world continue to bury their dead while living in fear of further violence."

His words were echoed by Mr Zeid, who stated "the violence and bias we see every day are stark reminders of the distance still to travel in upholding human rights, preventing genocide and defending our common humanity."

"In memory of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, and the pain that many others have since endured, I believe that it is urgent for us all to strengthen our moral courage. We must resist discrimination of every kind so that all may live in liberty, with respect, equality, and justice", Mr Zeid concluded.




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