About 13 years ago, The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/60/7 by consensus, to reject the denial of the Holocaust and mark the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. Condemning ‘without reserve’ all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement or violence against persons, communities, or race with regards to their belief or identity.
To acknowledge this dehumanization of free people the resolution also declared January 27th as an Annual International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
Today we do not only remember these victims but also consciously forget ideologies, actions and inactions that threaten our civilization as global citizens, regardless of origin or the faith we espouse.
The memory of the tragedy would continue to resound in history, following the monstrosities and genocidal treatment of the Jewish people amongst other victims. There is however, no glory in pain, the primary essence of this day is to continue walking in the stand to turn away from activities that constitutes insecurity to any significant other, whether they are natives or foreigners in any sovereign state of reference.
To this end, the United Nations Association of Nigeria, seeks to enlighten the general public on the need to abhor use of hate speeches and abandon prejudicial treatments of fellow citizens and non-citizens alike. The transcendental goal of the organization is to by-some-means, emancipate the general civil society to condemn and resist anti-Semitism and related ills in our society, for the advancement of collective social-cultural values.
While history might have condemned this anti-Jewish campaign by the Nazis as a no-no, kernels of sensitivity towards specific sexuality and races may still find expressions in daily societal transactions, it is only part of being a moral adult to condemn ‘without reserve’ any of such externalities. This is in keeping with the fact that evil would persist when good people do nothing.
The ultimate significance of this day is to be retrospective about this hateful practice with the aim of preventing its recurrence by promoting peace and reconciliation.
Engr Ganiyu OWOLABI
Secretary-General, UNA-Nigeria, Lagos.