Brussels, 8th May, 2012 – As people all over the world celebrate the end of World War II and victory over the tyranny of the Nazi regime, ECI launches a global petition to ban Holocaust denial at the United Nations.
The United Nations was created after the war as a beacon of hope for a new world, where the atrocities committed by the Nazis could never be repeated. However, to this very day, Holocaust denial is heard in speeches in this global organisation – from the UN Conference against Racism in Geneva to the General Assembly in New York.
- ‘This is deeply tragic and offensive to those who lost their loved ones in the Holocaust and to those who barely survived the Nazi genocide and today are old and frail’, said ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell in a statement.
- ‘How can we honour the victims of the Holocaust if we still allow outright denial and trivialisation of the Holocaust?’, asked ECI Chairman Harald Eckert. ‘Although we cannot ban anyone from telling lies or even insulting the victims, we can – and we must – prevent this from taking place inside the United Nations’, he said.
Earlier in the year the new President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, issued a ban on Holocaust denial on the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg. ECI now hopes that the UN will follow suit.
The petition is part of a three year campaign to raise awareness of the tragic events which took place in Europe only seventy years ago. This began with the Wannsee Conference in 1942 whose aim was to completely eliminate the Jewish people and to deport local communities across Europe to the Nazi death camps.
- ‘Those who today try to deny or trivialise this greatest crime against mankind are the same people who want to finish what Hitler started’, said board member David Adeola. ‘This is why it is important that citizens of good will in all UN member states sign the petition and send a clear signal to the UN about what type of moral standard they expect from this world organisation’, he added. Adeola, who is a native of Nigeria but now resides in Britain, hopes that the campaign will also spread to Africa and other parts of the world where the Nazi atrocities may be less known.
- ‘Although Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has made several statements denouncing Holocaust denial, it is now time to ban it altogether’, concluded Sandell, Eckert and Adeola.
The petition will be officially launched in the European Parliament in Brussels today on Victory Day, where it will be signed by members of parliament. It will be presented in the United Nations in New York in time for the next General Assembly in September 2012. Anyone wishing to sign the petition or collect signatures can download it from www.ec4i.org or request an electronic copy from email@example.com