The UN Secretary Generals Message on International Womens Day

New York, 8 March 2019

Gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security,

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

human rights and sustainable development. We can only re-establish trust in institutions, rebuild global solidarity and reap the benefits of diverse perspectives by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all.

In recent decades, we have seen remarkable progress on women’s rights and leadership in some areas. But these gains are far from complete or consistent – and they have already sparked a troubling backlash from an entrenched patriarchy.

Gender equality is fundamentally a question of power. We live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture. Only when we see women’s rights as our common objective, a route to change that benefits everyone, will we begin to shift the balance.

Increasing the number of women decision-makers is fundamental. At the United Nations, I have made this a personal and urgent priority. We now have gender parity among those who lead our teams around the world, and the highest-ever numbers of women in senior management. We will continue to build on this progress.

But women still face major obstacles in accessing and exercising power. As the World Bank found, just six economies give women and men equal legal rights in areas that affect their work. And if current trends continue, it will take 170 years to close the economic gender gap.

Nationalist, populist and austerity agendas add to gender inequality with policies that curtail women’s rights and cut social services. In some countries, while homicide rates overall are decreasing, femicide rates are rising. In others we see a rollback of legal protection against domestic violence or female genital mutilation. We know women’s participation makes peace agreements more durable, but even governments that are vocal advocates fail to back their words with action. The use of sexual violence as a tactic in conflict continues to traumatize individuals and entire societies.

Against this backdrop, we need to redouble our efforts to protect and promote women’s rights, dignity and leadership. We must not give ground that has been won over decades and we must push for wholesale, rapid and radical change.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, addresses infrastructure, systems and frameworks that have been constructed largely in line with a male-defined culture. We need to find innovative ways of reimagining and rebuilding our world so that it works for everyone. Women decision-makers in areas like urban design, transport and public services can increase women’s access, prevent harassment and violence, and improve everyone’s quality of life.

This applies equally to the digital future that is already upon us. Innovation and technology reflect the people who make them. The underrepresentation and lack of retention of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design should be a cause of concern to all.

Last month, in Ethiopia, I spent time with African Girls Can Code, an initiative that is helping to bridge the digital gender divide and train the tech leaders of tomorrow. I was delighted to see the energy and enthusiasm these girls brought to their projects. Programmes like this not only develop skills; they challenge stereotypes that limit girls’ ambitions and dreams.

On this International Women’s Day, let’s make sure women and girls can shape the policies, services and infrastructure that impact all our lives. And let’s support women and girls who are breaking down barriers to create a better world for everyone.

*****

French Translation

L’égalité des genres et les droits des femmes sont fondamentaux pour progresser à l’échelle planétaire sur la voie de la paix, de la sécurité, des droits de l’homme et du développement durable. Nous ne pouvons rétablir la confiance dans les institutions, reconstruire la solidarité au niveau mondial et tirer parti des diverses perspectives qu’en luttant contre les injustices historiques et en promouvant les droits et la dignité de toutes et de tous.

 

Ces dernières décennies, nous avons vu les femmes réaliser de remarquables avancées dans certains domaines, en matière de droits et de leadership. Mais ces progrès sont loin d’être complets ou systématiques – et ils ont suscité une réaction hostile et inquiétante de la part d’un patriarcat solidement enraciné.

 

L’égalité des genres est essentiellement une question de pouvoir. Nous vivons dans un monde dominé par les hommes où la culture l’est également. Ce n’est que lorsque nous nous fixons comme objectif commun les droits des femmes, un nouveau cap à prendre au profit de toutes et de tous, que nous commencerons à faire évoluer la situation.

 

L’augmentation du nombre des femmes à des postes de décision est fondamental. À l’ONU, j’en ai fait une priorité personnelle et urgente. Nous avons assuré la parité entre les sexes parmi celles et ceux qui dirigent nos équipes dans le monde, et le nombre de femmes occupant des postes de responsabilité est le plus élevé jamais atteint dans l’Organisation. Nous continuerons à faire fond sur cette avancée.

 

Toutefois, les femmes se heurtent encore à des obstacles importants pour accéder au pouvoir et pour l’exercer. Comme la Banque mondiale l’a constaté, seuls six pays accordent aux femmes et aux hommes la même égalité de droits dans des domaines touchant à leur vie professionnelle. Et si les tendances actuelles se maintiennent, il faudra 170 ans pour combler l’écart économique entre les sexes.

 

Les programmes nationalistes, populistes et d’austérité ajoutent à l’inégalité de genre par des politiques qui restreignent les droits des femmes et suppriment l’accès aux services sociaux. Dans certains pays, alors que le taux d’homicide est d’une manière générale en baisse, celui de féminicide est en hausse. Dans d’autres, nous constatons un recul de la protection juridique contre la violence domestique et la mutilation génitale féminine. Nous savons que la participation des femmes aux accords de paix rend ces derniers plus durables, ce qui n’empêche pourtant pas les gouvernements qui plaident en leur faveur de ne pas réussir à traduire leurs paroles en actes. Le recours à la violence sexuelle en tant que tactique dans les conflits continue d’être à la source de traumatismes à l’échelle des individus et de sociétés entières.

 

Dans ce contexte, il nous faut redoubler d’efforts pour protéger et promouvoir les droits, la dignité et le leadership des femmes. Nous ne devons pas céder un pouce du terrain conquis depuis des décennies et nous devons appeler à un changement rapide, radical et en profondeur.

 

Cette année, le thème de la Journée internationale des femmes : « Penser équitablement, bâtir intelligemment, innover pour le changement », aborde la question des infrastructures, des systèmes et des cadres qui ont été en grande partie établis dans l’esprit d’une culture définie par les hommes. Nous devons trouver des manières innovantes de réinventer et de reconstruire notre monde pour qu’il profite à toutes et à tous. Les femmes occupant des postes de décision dans des secteurs comme l’urbanisme, les transports et les services publics peuvent accroître l’accès d’autres femmes, prévenir le harcèlement à leur égard et les violences dont elles font l’objet, et améliorer la qualité de vie de chacune et de chacun.

 

Cela vaut également pour l’avenir numérique qui nous entoure déjà. L’innovation et la technologie sont le reflet de celles et ceux qui sont à leur origine. La sous‑représentation des femmes et le fait qu’elles ne demeurent pas en poste dans les secteurs de la science, de la technologie, de l’ingénierie, des mathématiques et de la conception devraient être une source de préoccupation pour nous toutes et tous.

 

Le mois dernier, en Éthiopie, j’ai passé du temps avec l’équipe d’African Girls Can Code, une initiative qui contribue à combler le fossé numérique entre les femmes et les hommes et à former les responsables des entreprises de haute technologie de demain. J’ai eu le plaisir de voir l’énergie et l’enthousiasme avec lesquels ces filles menaient leurs projets. Les programmes de cette nature ne développent pas seulement les compétences : ils combattent les stéréotypes qui limitent les ambitions et les rêves des filles.

 

En cette Journée internationale des femmes, veillons à ce que les femmes et les filles puissent concevoir des politiques, des services et des infrastructures ayant un effet sur notre vie. Et apportons notre soutien aux femmes et aux filles qui suppriment les obstacles à la création d’un monde meilleur pour toutes et pour tous.

 

 

Bookmark the Spokesperson’s website:http://www.un.org/sg/en/spokesperson

 

United Nations Zambia in promotion of Youth Participation

By Shiho Kuwahara, University Volunteer, UNIC Lusaka

In order to promote youth participation in development, the United Nations in Zambia has in

A UNYPP member participates in an SDG awareness creation activit in Lusaka. Photo: UNIC/Lusaka/2017/Maseko

A UNYPP member participates in an SDG awareness creation activity in Lusaka. Photo: UNIC/Lusaka/2017/Maseko

partnership with the Zambian Government, through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Child Development put together a group of youth with representation from all 10 provinces of Zambia under the UN Youth Partnership Platform-Zambia (UNYPP-Z). The group consists of youth aged between 15 to 35 years who are willing to work with UN Zambia, the Government and other partners on challenges of young people’s development and promote youth participation in decision making processes. UNYPP-Z is dealing with policies, programme development for young people as well as monitoring and evaluation.

There UNYPP-Z aims to facilitate knowledge and information sharing about youth policies and programmes, to create greater awareness on both international and domestic policies among youth groups and youth-serving partners, to strengthen the partnership between the UN and youth for meaningful youth participation in the development activities. The group also seeks to identify and raise issues and innovative programme delivery models for young people’s needs.

The Zambia UN Youth Partnership Platform includes a total of 23 members with one representative from each province being a focal point of each National Youth Policy Thematic areas such as education, employment and entrepreneurship, health and protection of rights and civic engagement.

“The Ministry of Youth and Sports and the UN made selections of the UNYPP members following criteria such as age, gender balance, and educational or professional backgrounds and UN areas of focus,” said Francis Jere, UNYPP Zambia President.

“Young people are able to deepen their knowledge about development policies and activities, and take some action making use of it. On the other hand, the UN can get recommendations on priorities for the UN’s programmes in Zambia from the youth perspective and identify their actual needs, added Jere.

The tenure for the members is two years and those who have completed their terms can still continue to contribute to UNYPP-Z activities in terms of mentoring for new members. In addition, previous members remain resource persons for future youth related activities of the UN which need networking and collaboration.

Youth participation in development is key because they are the future. Youth participation is also a demonstration of the theme of “Leaving No One Behind” as Zambia works towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

UNIC Lusaka promotes better understanding SDGs among pupils

By Shiho Kuwahara, University Volunteer, UNIC Lusaka

In continued efforts to create awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Shiho (middle) presenting the SDGs to students.

Shiho Kuwahara (middle) presenting the SDGs to students.

among children and youth, UNIC Lusaka conducted educational outreach activities in three Lusaka-based schools (North Park, Great North Road Academy and Rhodes Park) from 12-14 February 2019. More than 200 eleventh and twelfth grade pupils participated in the activities.

The presentations focused on how pupils can contribute to the goals at their ages in their attainment. As an introduction, there was a short video of the background of SGDs to let them know about its history. Presenters explained each SDG and needed actions to achieve the goals with actual examples which are familiar with children’s daily life. Pupils were eager to learn about it and participated actively in all the sessions through questions and contributions.  A crucial point that all the goals are important and interlinked was made and that there, therefore, need to make progress on all of them in order to have sustainable development.

As part of the sessions, a lively quiz was given to assess the knowledge levels of the pupils. The pupils deepened their understanding of SDGs.

“Is it really possible to achieve these goals by 2030,”? asked one pupil and Rhodes Park School. It was later emphasized that progress on the SDGs depends on efforts and cooperation by everyone including governments and individuals.

The SDGs were adopted by the 193 UN Member States, including Zambia, at the Sustainable

Shiho Kuwahara, shares a light moment with students at Great North Road Academy.

Shiho, shares a light moment with students at Great North Road Academy.

Development Summit in New York in 2015. The 17 goals focus on the three interconnected elements of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection with the aim to make a better world by the year 2030. The first step to achieve the goals is to know about them, especially for youth because they are the future leaders. UNIC Lusaka will continue to work with UN agencies in Zambia to create awareness about the SDGs and encourage people to act for the Global Goals.

 

Worrisome risks lurk beneath solid global growth

By Elliott Harris

On the surface, the world economy remains on a steady trajectory moving into 2019. Headline

Elliot Harris, UN Chief Economist and Under Secretary General for Economic Development

Elliot Harris, UN Chief Economist and Under Secretary General for Economic Development

figures suggest that – while global growth has likely peaked – activity around the world will continue to expand at a solid pace. Several developed economies are operating close to their full potential with unemployment rates at historical lows.

Yet, headlines do not tell the whole story. Beneath the surface, a much more worrisome picture of the world economy emerges. The newly-released World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019illustrates how a combination of rising economic, social and environmental challenges hampers progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. There are several risk factors that could disrupt activity and inflict significant damage on longer-term development prospects. Over the past year, trade policy disputes have escalated, and financial vulnerabilities have increased as global liquidity tightens, casting a shadow over the outlook for 2019 and beyond.

Should such a downturn materialize, prospects are grim. Global private and public debt is at a record high, well above the level seen in the run-up to the global financial crisis. Interest rates remain very low in most developed economies, while central bank balance sheets are still bloated. With limited monetary and fiscal space, policymakers around the globe will struggle to react effectively to an economic downturn. And, given waning support for multilateral approaches, concerted actions – like those implemented in response to the 2008/09 crisis – may prove difficult to arrange.

Even if global growth remains robust, its benefits do not reach the places they are needed most. Incomes will stagnate or grow only marginally in 2019 in parts of Africa, Western Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Many commodity exporters are still grappling with the effects of the commodity price collapse of 2014-16. The challenges are most acute in Africa, where per capita growth has averaged only 0.3 per cent over the past five years. Given a rapidly growing population, the fight against poverty will require much faster economic growth and dramatic reductions in income inequality.

And, perhaps most importantly, the critical transition towards environmental sustainability is not happening fast enough. The nature of current growth is not compatible with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In fact, the impacts of climate change are becoming more widespread and severe. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is increasing.Floods, coastal storm surges, droughts and heat waves are damaging vital infrastructure and causing large-scale displacements. The human and economic costs of such disasters fall overwhelmingly on low-income countries.

Many of the challenges before us are global in nature and require collective and cooperative policy action. Withdrawal into nationalism and unilateral action will only pose further setbacks for the global community, and especially for those already in danger of being left behind. Instead, policymakers need to work together to address the weaknesses of the current system and strengthen the multilateral framework.

The author is UN Chief Economist and and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development

The UN Secretary General’s message on World Radio

13 February 2019

Radio is a powerful tool.

Even in today’s world of digital communications, radio reaches more people than any other media platform.

It conveys vital information and raises awareness on important issues.

And it is a personal, interactive platform where people can air their views, concerns, and grievances. Radio can create a community.

For the United Nations, especially our peacekeeping operations, radio is a vital way of informing, reuniting and empowering people affected by war.

On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the power of radio to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace.

Thank you.

Message in other UN official languages: ArabicChineseFrench, PortugueseRussianSpanish.

UN Secretary Generals Message on International Day of Women and Girls in Science

11 February 2019

Skills in science, technology, engineering and math drive innovation and are critical to achieving

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

the Sustainable Development Goals. Women and girls are vital in all these areas. Yet they remain woefully under-represented. Gender stereotypes, a lack of visible role models and unsupportive or even hostile policies and environments can keep them from pursuing these careers.

The world cannot afford to miss out on the contributions of half our population. We need concerted efforts to overcome these obstacles.

We must tackle misconceptions about girls’ abilities.

We must promote access to learning opportunities for women and girls, particularly in rural areas.

And we must do more to change workplace culture so that girls who dream of being scientists, engineers and mathematicians can enjoy fulfilling careers in these fields.

Let us ensure that every girl, everywhere, has the opportunity to realize her dreams, grow into her power and contribute to a sustainable future for all.

Message in other UN official languages: ArabicChineseFrenchRussian,Spanish.

The UN Secretary General- Message on The International Day of Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation

6 February 2019

Female genital mutilation is an abhorrent human rights violation affecting women and girls

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

around the world. It denies them their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain and suffering, even death.

Female genital mutilation is rooted in gender inequalities and power imbalances– and it sustains them by limiting opportunities for girls and women to realize their rights and full potential. An estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have been subject to this harmful practice. And every year, almost 4 million girls are at risk.

The Sustainable Development Goals call for the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030. The United Nations joins hands with global, regional and national actors in supporting holistic and integrated initiatives to achieve this objective. Tackling FGM is also a central part of our efforts in the Spotlight Initiative, launched in partnership with the European Union to end all forms of violence against women and girls.

With strong political commitment, we are seeing positive change in several countries. However, if current trends persist, these advances will continue to be outpaced by rapid population growth where the practice is concentrated.

On this Day of Zero Tolerance, I call for increased, concerted and global action to end female genital mutilation and fully uphold the human rights of all women and girls.

Message in other UN official languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian,Spanish.

More information

Ending poverty is possible, but it means facing up to inequality: within and between countries

Op-ed by Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

World leaders have committed to ending poverty everywhere for all people by 2030. Achieving this aim means facing up to the need for dramatic declines in inequalities – in income, in opportunity, in exposure to risk, across gender, between countries and within countries – over the next decade.

Inequality is a well-recognized barrier to poverty eradication, as well as many other

Mr. Liu become the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Mr. Liu, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

development challenges. It features in multiple dimensions across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the universally adopted plan to promote prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment. According to many metrics, income inequality among countries has declined somewhat in recent decades, driven primarily by strong growth in East Asian and South Asian economies.  But there are many countries—particularly in parts of Africa, Western Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean—where income levels have continued to fall further behind, exacerbating income inequalities between countries.

The latest United Nation’s analysis in the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019indicates that per capita income levels essentially stagnated or declined in a total of 47 developing and transition economies last year. Most of these countries have been consistently falling behind for several decades. This poses an enormous challenge as countries strive to reduce poverty, develop essential infrastructure, create jobs and support economic diversification. Most of the lagging countries are highly dependent on commodities, stressing the importance of both diversification and effective management of natural resource wealth to tap into their development potential. Several countries have also suffered long-standing armed conflict or civil unrest and political instability.

If this trend continues, eradicating poverty and creating decent jobs for all will become increasingly out of reach. Weak economic performance is also linked to insufficient investment in quality education, health services, social protection, programs for marginalized groups and mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Faster GDP growth alone will not necessarily lead to broad-based improvements in living standards. Deep inequalities also persist in the distribution of income within countries, acting as a major barrier to development progress.  High inequality within countries is associated with social exclusion and fragmentation; weaker institution-building and governance; and increased risk of violence and internal conflict.

Fundamental transformations are needed going forward, to narrow the income gaps between and within countries. According to UN estimates, without significant changes in behaviour, more than 7 percent of the global population may remain in poverty by the year 2030, including about 30 per cent of the populations in Africa and the least developed countries (LDCs).

In Africa, where the population is expanding at a rate of more than 2 per cent per year, reducing the level of extreme poverty to below 5 per cent by 2030 will require a combination of double digit GDP growth and dramatic declines in inequality; well-outside the realms of historical precedence.

Integrated and cross-cutting policy measures that both raise prospects for economic growth and reduce income inequalities are essential to shift the world towards a more sustainable and inclusive path. This includes investing in education, health care, resilience to climate change, and financial and digital inclusion, to support economic growth and job creation in the short-term, while promoting sustainable development in the long term.

Macroeconomic stability and a strong development-oriented policy framework, including a well-functioning and robust financial system, are key elements for successfully tackling inequality. Well-designed fiscal policies can help smooth the business cycle, provide public goods, correct market failures and directly influence the income distribution. Broadening access to quality education is also crucial, coupled with employment policies, such as raising minimum wages and expanding social protection. Prioritizing rural infrastructure development, through public investment in transport, agriculture and energy, can also support poverty alleviation and narrow inequalities within countries.

While there is no one-size-fits-all policy prescription that guarantees delivery of a more equal and prosperous society, one overarching message is clear: calls to eradicate poverty are meaningless without concerted and committed policy action to reduce inequality.

***

Mr. Liu become the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs in July 2017. Prior to his appointment, he was the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of China since 2013. Mr. Liu brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service, with a strong focus on the promotion of bilateral, regional and global issues. He was deeply involved for 10 years in climate change negotiations, including the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. 

Press Release: Holocaust Day – UN Resident Coordinator Janet Rogan calls for Love and Peace

MANY CALL FOR PEACE AND LOVE AS ZAMBIA MARKS THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

LUSAKA, 31 January 2019 – On 29 January 2019, United Nations Resident Coordinator Ms. Janet

UN Resident Coordinator Zambia, Ms. Janet Rogan

UN Resident Coordinator Zambia, Ms. Janet Rogan

Rogan spoke at a commemorative event in Lusaka to remember the victims of the Holocaust with a call for love and need to defend human rights. Six million Jews and other groups of people were killed during the Holocaust between 1941-1945 by the Nazi regime and their collaborators.

“It is necessary for us not only to remember the people who were mercilessly murdered during the holocaust, during the genocides, but also to think hard about the reasons why they were killed; to think about how the general population was incited against those people of difference. And it is necessary to do everything possible to teach ourselves and our children how to defend ourselves against such evil ideologies so that such crimes can never, ever again be perpetrated in our presence or our collective knowledge,” Ms Rogan said.

The event, organised by the UN Information Centre Lusaka, was held under the theme: ‘Holocaust Remembrance: Demand and Defend Your Human Rights.’
Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, Reverend Godfridah Sumaili, MP, was guest of honour. In her speech, the Honourable Minister called upon youths to reject violence and instead contribute meaningfully to Zambia’s development.

“I call on youths to refuse to be used as tools to injure other people simply because they are different from one group…The youths should take their rightful place as future leaders and

A student makes comments reflecting upon the commemoration.

A student makes comments reflecting upon the commemoration.

seek meaningful participation in the development of Zambia. Zambia depends on youths as agents for change. Fighting is not one of the ways to participate in development,” Rev. Sumaili said.

The event involved informative exhibitions including a historical video narrating events and decisions that forever changed the world, and a multi-paneled exhibition where students read testimonies, viewed family photographs and learned about The Butterfly Project: stories from children and their families during the Holocaust.

Others who joined children and youth at the event in expressing their views on peace, unity, love and tolerance were a representative from the Council of Churches in Zambia, Zambia-Israel Initiative Bishop Peter Tande Mulenga, former Namwala Member of Parliament Dr. Ompie Nkumbuka-Liebenthal, Chairperson of the Council for Zambia Jewry Simon Zukas and other members of the Jewish Community in Zambia including Cynthia Zukas, Shalomi Abutbul, Izak Ephrati and Robert Liebenthal.

On 1st November 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 60/7 designating 27th January as an annual International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. This day serves as an opportunity to raise awareness and bolster inclusivity among every person within their daily lives by continuing to thrive and to strive for better living standards together, undivided.

For more information, please contact:

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lusaka
Mark Maseko, National Information Officer
P: +260-211-225-494  E: info.lusaka@unic.org

Zambian Students Learn About the Holocaust

By Shiho Kuwahara, University Volunteer, UNIC Lusaka

UNIC Lusaka organized a thought-provoking event on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust” at the University of Zambia Chapel in Zambia’s

Group photo of attendees.

Group photo of attendees.

capital, Lusaka. About 100 people, including 70 students from four secondary schools participated in the event at which the Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, Rev Godfridah Sumaili was guest of honour. Other dignitaries included Ms. Janet Rogan, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Mr. Simon Zukas Chairperson of the Council for Zambia Jewry, Ms Victoria Chitundu, Director for Lusaka National Museum and representatives from the Jewish community in Zambia and other Faith-Based Organisations.

Rev Sumaili emphasized the importance of observing the Holocaust.

“This is a very important day as it helps us to save the coming generations from the scourge of unprecedented acts of genocide as witnessed when over six million Jews and other groups of people including Jehovah’s witnesses and gypsies were killed by the Nazi regime. Further, commemorating the Holocaust is important in reminding us of the need to protect and defend human rights,” she said.

Ms. Rogan said in her speech that it was necessary for all to not only remember the people who were mercilessly murdered during the holocaust, but also to think hard about the reasons why they were killed; to think about how the general population was incited against those people of difference. She called for need to do create awareness about need to speak and act evil ideologies so that crimes such as the Holocaust can never, ever again be perpetrated.

“To hold this kind of event is meaningful not only to honour millions of victims, but also to let people think about the value of peace to prevent the tragedy from occurring again,” she said.

Mr. Zukas shared that he lost family members during the Holocaust, a narration that left a few teary eyes in the audience. This was echoed by his wife Cynthia Zukas, who also spoke about similar losses of family members at the hands of the Nazi in concentration camps.

Pupils expressed the need for love, tolerance and unity. One pupil noted that through the event, she was able to better understand the Holocaust as it was her first-time ever hearing about these acts of genocide by the in Nazi regime. The children also observed an exhibition called Butterfly Project, a narrative about the Holocaust by children who survived the atrocities.

Picture gallery