The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has called for a comprehensive approach to Holocaust denial.
Guterres, who is the ninth Secretary-general of UN, said this in his video message at the media engagement to commemorate the International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
The event with the theme: “It started with words: How hate speech can cause real harm”, was organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) on Thursday in Abuja.
Guterres said, “We remember the six million Jewish children, women and men, as well as the Roma and Sinti, the people with disabilities and countless others who perished.
“As we mourn the loss of so many and so much, we also recognize that the Holocaust was not inevitable, no genocide ever is.
“In remembering the Holocaust, we recognize threats to freedom, dignity and humanity, including in our own time.
“Today, in the face of growing economic discontent and political instability, escalating white supremacist terrorism, surging hate and religious bigotry, we must be more outspoken than ever.
“We must never forget, nor allow others forget, distort or deny the Holocaust, let us resolve to never remain silent in the face of evil and to always defend dignity and rights of all.”
Speaking at the event, the Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, underscored the need for early education of people on the dangers of Holocaust to prevent reoccurrence.
According to him, there is the need to sensitise the people to dangers of hate speeches to ensure prevention of Holocaust.
“To think about how 6 million of those people and the entire world of theirs were destroyed and all the future generation were wiped out.
“We cannot really understand what they went through, but what we can do is take away the lessons, on how we can ensure it does not happen again.
“We can make sure that it does not happen again by sincere commitment of all us; on tackling intolerance where ever we see it.
“Hate speech do not happen by themselves, but in environment there are hate speeches, we need to stand up for others, protect minorities, do what is right, even when it is difficult,” Freeman said.
He reiterated that lessons about tragedy of the Holocaust were not just about the Nazists and the collaborators, but all who stood for nothing.
Mr Mathias Schmale, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, said that the UN had put measures to promote vigilance.
Accord to him, observance of the Holocaust Day is designed to remind the world of lessons to be learnt, in order to prevent future acts of genocide.
“We emphasize on extinguishing all forms of Holocaust at the the root, so that when ever we see elements of hate speech, we immediately move in.
“ We need to be worried about every element of hate speech and in particular not tolerating racial differences.
“Your skin color cannot be any grounds for calling you name or association with ethnic group.
“Education against hate speech and racial discrimination is an ongoing process that never stops, so it is our collective responsibility to remodel global values,” Schmale said.
He further said that there should be full respect for tolerance of different persons to move forward. (NAN)