Oswieçim – I extend warm greetings to the International Auschwitz Committee and all the participants in this important gathering. The world has much to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust, when tyranny ruled in so much of Europe and indifference to the plight of the Jewish people was the norm.
As Holocaust survivors, you have witnessed unspeakable acts and known immeasurable suffering. Through your eyes, the world has come to know the truth of the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the web of ghettos and camps that fed the Nazi death machine.
You have taken a long journey together. You have nurtured loving families and reached goals that you set out for yourselves. This is a testament to your strength, endurance and determination.
Today, I join you in remembering the millions of loved ones lost, friends and family who are not here today. I also pay tribute to your dear President Noach Flug, who passed away last year.
His legacy lives on through the good work of the Committee and the continued preservation of this site, which helps us to honour the victims of the Holocaust and safeguard their memory.
However painful, remembering the Holocaust and educating future generations is essential to overcoming prejudice, hatred and human rights abuses. These efforts also include speaking out against those who would deny or diminish the fact of the Holocaust.
The United Nations outreach programme on the Holocaust, established in 2006, continues to work with educators and partners such as yourselves to make sure your stories are heard and heeded as a warning about the consequences of anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination.
This is vital work. The United Nations was created in the aftermath of the Second World War and the Holocaust to help ensure that our children can live in a world of peace, dignity and human rights for all.
I thank all of you for your contribution to building that future, and I wish you a successful assembly.