UNITED NATIONS(RushPRNews)12/11/08-Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonâ€™s message to the ceremony marking the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, on 4 December:
Drafted amid utter destruction and destitution following the Holocaust and the Second World War, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reflects humanityâ€™s aspirations for a future of human dignity, prosperity, and peaceful coexistence.
It is appropriate to mark the Declarationâ€™s sixtieth anniversary at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of systematic murder and inhumane treatment of Jews and countless other victims of Nazi barbarism.
The United Nations is strongly committed to preserving the memory of the victims and to the fight against anti-Semitism. The General Assembly recently established an annual international day of Holocaust remembrance, and we are working closely with a global network of civil society groups, world-renowned institutions and experts in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies to encourage Holocaust education throughout the world. We are particularly grateful to our European partners for their support.
The work of remembrance is vital. It pays tribute to the victims, giving each a face, a name and a story. It counters the noxious practice of Holocaust denial. And it provides a safeguard for the future, showing us the horrendous consequences of intolerance and hatred, and helping to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity.
Human rights must hold the whole world in solidarity. Each and every one of us, individually and collectively, has a responsibility to uphold the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration. â€œEveryoneâ€, it proclaims, â€œhas the right to life, liberty and security of person.â€ Let us do our part to ensure that the Declarationâ€™s towering vision is brought to life everywhere, for everyone.