Under Secretary General Robert Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, lead a delegation of heads and representatives of UN agencies today, including: UNOPS, UNDP, UN-OCHA, UNODC, UNRWA, UNFPA, OHCHR, UNTSO, UNESCO and the World Bank, to Yad Vashem, for the first ever formal UN visit, designating International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
January 27 was designated by the United Nations, in 2005, as The International Day of Commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust. This year the UN is paying special homage to women in the Holocaust. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “Jewish women performed truly heroic deeds during the Holocaust. They faced unthinkable peril and upheaval — traditions upended, spouses sent to the death camps, they themselves torn from their roles as caregivers and pushed into the workforce, there to be humiliated and abused. In the face of danger and atrocity, they bravely joined the resistance, smuggled food into the ghettos and made wrenching sacrifices to keep their children alive. Their courage and compassion continue to inspire us to this day.”
UN representatives visited the Holocaust History Museum, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children’s Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book; “On the occasion of the United Nations day to commemorate the Holocaust. Words fail me. This must never be forgotten and never happen again.”
Danny Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister for the State of Israel, participated in the memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance. At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Serry, Mr. Ayalon and Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, offered brief remarks.