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UN General Assembly adopts resolution condemning Holocaust denial – Global issues

The resolution was passed in the presence of a group of survivors of the Nazi Holocaust that killed about six million Jews, that is, about two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. The War II.

The vote took place on the same day, 80 years ago, during the Wansee Conference, when top Nazi officials discussed and coordinated the Holocaust, establishing Germany’s system of death camps. commune.

Introducing the resolution, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, a grandson of Holocaust victims, said the world is living “in an age where fiction is becoming reality, and the Holocaust is becoming reality.” become a distant memory.”

Holocaust denial has spread like a cancer, it has spread under our watch“, he warned.

Resolution

According to the resolution, the genocide “will forever serve as a warning to all of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice”.

In the text, Member States expressed concern about “the growing prevalence of denial or distortion of the Holocaust through the use of information and communication technologies.”

It also urges all Member States to “reject without reservation any denial or misrepresentation of the Holocaust as a historical event, in whole or in part, or any activity intended to this goal”.

Education

The resolution commends countries that have “actively engaged in the preservation of the sites of Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labor camps, murder sites and prisons throughout the period.” the Holocaust, as well as similar sites operated by allied Nazi regimes, their accomplices, or auxiliary agents. ”

It also asks US States to develop programs to educate future generations and calls on social media companies to take active measures to combat anti-Semitism and denial or misrepresentation. Holocaust.

UNESCO

At the United Nations, most educational efforts aimed at combating anti-Semitism take place through the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Organ activities including teacher training, policy guidance for education ministries around the world, and activities to address and prevent contemporary anti-Semitism, including online.

Last year, the agency and the World Jewish Congress signed an agreement with Facebook to redirect users searching for Holocaust-related terms or Holocaust denial to a general website available in 19 languages.

After passing the resolution, the agency vowed to “continue to teach history and to combat all forms of anti-Semitism, online and offline.”

Human rights

Also on Thursday, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights spoke to the Special Committee of the Italian Senate against intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism and incitement to hatred and violence.

In her speech, Michelle Bachelet encourage concrete reforms to craft policies and stories that emphasize people and our common rights.

She also said that anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim prejudice appeared to be on the rise across Europe, highlighting a Fundamental Rights Agency survey that found that 89% of respondents feel that anti-Semitism has increased in their country.

Former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in southern Poland.

Former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in southern Poland., By Unsplash / Jean Carlo Emer

Political profit

According to Bachelet, political movements that profit from hatred have gathered strength in many countries.

“By heightening the emotions of their supporters through disinformation and misinformation campaigns, they gain media attention and votes – but they also create deep wedges, violent and deeply damaging to society”.

The high commissioner told Italian senators that the impact of this kind of hate speech is devastating.

“It exposes them to humiliation, violence, discrimination and exclusion – exacerbating underlying social and economic inequalities, and fueling grievances,” she explains. deep”.

The Human Rights chief also remembered a quote by Primo Levi, a famous Italian writer and Jewish Holocaust survivor, who said: “It happened, so it can happen. out again”.

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