SUDAN WATCH: UN keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive for the future

Monday, January 24, 2005

UN keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive for the future

Going by the Kofi Annan quotes in the press this week to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps, one can only conclude that Mr Annan and the U.N. Security Council have not believed that crimes against humanity and genocide were committed in Darfur.

Here is an excerpt from a report at Deutsche Welle today that quotes Mr Annan as saying new generations born after the war must not grow up unaware of the lessons of the Holocaust:

"The founding of this organisation was a direct response to the Holocaust. Our Charter, and the words 'untold sorrow,' were written as the world was learning the full horror of the death camps," Annan said.

The memory of the Holocaust's horrors must be kept alive so future generations can learn from its lessons, the Secretary General said.

"The evil that destroyed six million Jews and others in those camps is one that still threatens all of us today," he added. "It is not something we can consign to the distant past and forget about it. Every generation must be on its guard, to make sure that such a thing never happens again," he admonished.

Note, the report points out the UN was criticised for its insufficient response to the Rwandan genocide in 1994 in which at least 800,000 people were killed -- and that some 10 years later, the organisation hopes it has learned from its mistakes as it prepares to hear from a special commission on whether acts of genocide have been committed in Darfur.

UPDATE: Further reading Reuters Jan 24: "UN on Holocaust: Evil Wins When the Good Are Quiet" --

"How could such evil happen in a cultured and highly sophisticated nation-state in the heart of Europe whose artists and thinkers had given the world so much," Annan asked. "Truly is has been said: "All that is needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing."

"The purveyors of hatred, were not always and may not be in the future, only marginalized extremists," he said.

Although the world rightly says "never again," action is harder. Since the Holocaust genocide has occurred in Cambodia, in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, he said.

And at this moment, "terrible things are happening today in Darfur, Sudan," Annan said. He asked the Security Council to take action once it received a report on Tuesday determining whether genocide has occurred and identifying gross violations of human rights.

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