Opening remarks by H.E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the General Assembly Informal meeting of the plenary on “Combating Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Racism and Hate – The Challenges of Teaching Tolerance and Respect in the Digital Age“.
29 January 2017
Sydney Jewish Museum
UNIC Canberra joined the Sydney Jewish Museum and the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and descendants at a moving yet inspirational ceremony in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Australia has a strong connection to the Holocaust as it has more survivors per capita than any other country and many of them were in attendance to listen to a wide range of speakers spanning the generations.
The attendees were also able to appreciate the exhibit “The State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda” which was on display in the auditorium.
In his introduction, Professor Gus Lehrer, President of the Museum, stressed the importance of the preservation of memory and education and how we must not just recall the events, but also the experiences they caused. Noting how the horrors of those days led to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he announced the Museum would be creating a new section which would deal with the issue of the Holocaust and Human Rights.
There followed a solemn lighting of candles by survivors present, followed by Olga Horak, OAM who eloquently gave her testimony, describing her experience in the camps as “the bottom of hell, where the only music was that of intolerable heartache and sorrow and … living was worse than dying”.
GENEVA (7 December 2016) – United Nations human rights expert Mutuma Ruteere called on all Australians to strengthen efforts to end racism, xenophobia and other forms of racial discrimination in the country, especially against indigenous people, migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, Muslims, and persons of African descent.
“The elimination of racism, xenophobia and discrimination will not happen unless it is led by the most senior political leadership and unless institutions such as the media play a constructive role,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on racism at the end of a fact-finding visit* to Australia.