In Holocaust remembrance, Ban urges vigilance against killing
( dpa ) - The UN General Assembly will observe on Monday the third international day to commemorate victims of the Holocaust with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling on the world never to let it happen again.
The 192-nation body declared three years ago that each January 27 will be the International Day in Memory of Holocaust Victims. It was the first time since the end of World War II that the UN recognized the killing of an estimated 6 million Jews and minorities by Nazi Germany.
On Monday, the assembly will hear addresses by survivors of Nazi death camps, including US Congressman Tom Lantos, and a concert by the Tel Aviv University Symphony conducted by Zubin Mehta. The UN plans also to issue a special stamp to mark the day.
Ban said in a statement in advance of Monday's event that the UN stands in solidarity with Holocaust victims and their families around the world.
"To those who claim that the Holocaust never happened, or has been exaggerated, we respond by reiterating our determination to honour the memory of every innocent man, woman and child murdered at the hands of the Nazis and their accomplices," Ban said.
"We mourn the systematic genocide of one-third of the Jewish people, along with members of minorities, which deprived the world of untold contributions," he said.
He called for a "sense of vigilance" and measures to thwart intolerance from happening again. The UN celebrates this year the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Ban said will be an occasion to again remind the world of the Holocaust.
"Let us never take our human rights for granted," he said.
The assembly, once dominated by countries that opposed Israel's policies in the Middle East, decided in 2005 to mark - 60 years later - the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945.