The President of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid today took part in the annual Holocaust Commemoration, organized by the UN Outreach Programme on the Holocaust. He said “we honor those whose lives were cut short by ruthless and intolerable acts fueled by bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred. We ensure that they live on in legacy and in memory. Because to do so is to stand against any manifestation of Holocaust denial.” The President also extended a “profound welcome” to the Holocaust survivors participating in today’s ceremony.
You will recall that the President had met with a group of Holocaust survivors on 20 January, the day he presided over the General Assembly as it adopted by consensus, a resolution that condemns denial and distortion of the Holocaust.
The President also had a message to the annual United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Shabbat Service on 25 January. In that message, the President noted that the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace.”
Turning to the Olympics… Today is 27 January, the first day of the Olympic Truce that the General Assembly had called for back in December. President Shahid had made a Solemn Appeal on 20 January in connection with the observance of the Truce. The General Assembly had taken note of the Solemn Appeal. The International Olympic Committee welcomed it.
President Shahid had said that the “Olympic movement aspires to contribute to a peaceful future for all humankind through the educational value of sport, in particular youth. He added that the Games are a “means to promote peace, mutual understanding and goodwill among nations and peoples”. Those are also the founding values of the United Nations. As I have already announced, the President is scheduled to travel to Beijing for the Games, at the invitation of the IOC.
And I wanted to draw your attention to the President’s ongoing vaccine equity campaign, ahead of the high-level event that will be held on 25 February. Dr. Tedros today announced that he is standing with President Shahid to help ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, nearly 130 Member States have supported the campaign, in addition to dozens of UN officials, entities and individuals.