On Tuesday, November 1, 2005), the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Israel and designated January 27 as Holocaust Remembrance Day. In doing so, the assembly urged the nations of the world to observe the day so that future generations will be spared acts of genocide.
Co-sponsored by 104 other states, the resolution rejects Holocaust denial and encourages countries to develop educational programs about the horrors of genocide. It also condemns religious intolerance, incitement, harassment, or violence based on ethnic origin or religious belief.
Assembly President Jan Eliasson said the memory of the Holocaust must be "a unifying historic warning around which we must rally; not only to recall the grievous crimes committed in human history, but also to reaffirm our unfaltering resolve to prevent the recurrence of such crimes."
Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said the Holocaust "brought us face to face with the full extent of man's capacity for inhumanity to his fellow man," and that it served as a "critical impetus" for the development of human rights, the drafting of landmark international conventions on genocide, and the founding of the UN itself.
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly
[without reference to a Main Committee (A/60/L.12 and Add.1)]
60/7 Holocaust remembrance
The General Assembly,
Reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,1 which proclaims that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, religion or other status,
Recalling article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person,
Recalling also article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 which state that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,
Bearing in mind that the founding principle of the Charter of the United Nations, “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, is testimony to the indelible link between the United Nations and the unique tragedy of the Second World War,
Recalling the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,3 which was adopted in order to avoid repetition of genocides such as those committed by the Nazi regime,
Recalling also the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind,
Taking note of the fact that the sixtieth session of the General Assembly is taking place during the sixtieth year of the defeat of the Nazi regime,
Recalling the twenty-eighth special session of the General Assembly, a unique event, held in commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps,
Honouring the courage and dedication shown by the soldiers who liberated the concentration camps,
Reaffirming that the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice,
1. Resolves that the United Nations will designate 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust;
2. Urges Member States to develop educational programmes that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide, and in this context commends the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research;
3. Rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or part;
4. Commends those States which have actively engaged in preserving those sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps and prisons during the Holocaust;
5. Condemns without reserve all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, wherever they occur;
6. Requests the Secretary-General to establish a programme of outreach on the subject of the “Holocaust and the United Nations” as well as measures to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide; to report to the General Assembly on the
establishment of this programme within six months from the date of the adoption of the present resolution; and to report thereafter on the implementation of the programme at its sixty-third session.
42nd plenary meeting
1 November 2005
1 Resolution 217 A (III).
2 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
3 Resolution 260 A (III), annex.