Costa Rica Observes the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
January 24, 2014
On November 1, 2005, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated January 27 as the “International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust”.
The United Nations chose this day because on January 27, 1945, the Soviet forces cornered the German military forces and liberated the prisoners detained in the Auschwitz extermination camp who were living in subhuman conditions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship and the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace summoned government authorities, the country’s diplomatic corps, and similar institutions with the purpose of presenting the project Traces to Remember, and unveiling the commemorative plaque of Holocaust survivor Solomon Fachler.
The ceremony was attended by the First Vice President, Alfio Piva; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Enrique Castillo; the Global Ambassador of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, Dr. William Soto; the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Yoriko Yasukawa; Holocaust survivor Solomon Fachler; and members of the Jewish community, among others.
The opening words of Dr. William Soto called on various authorities to take action, with the objective of preventing another genocide: "Today and always, we will remember the victims of the Nazi genocide, because we are conscious that one day alone is not enough to remember the survivors of genocides. It is necessary to promote, establish and execute activities in various political, social, cultural, academic and government settings so that, in compliance with the call of the United Nations Organization, we may reflect day by day on the causes of prejudice, the persecutions and the lessons of this international crime."
He also stressed that the universal lessons left by this historical event should be taught in schools and universities as an effective tool to prevent and avoid the future commission of genocidal acts like these; for which, he proposed the inclusion of the Holocaust as subject of study in the educational system of different countries.
Regarding this, First Vice President Alfio Piva expressed: "On this special occasion, in which we have gathered to reflect on this terrible genocide, we are calling on all men and women of good will around the world, so that acts like the Holocaust are never forgotten in our minds. Humanity cannot and must not be indifferent to these crimes and others like them."
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Enrique Castillo, stated that Costa Rica has joined France’s proposal for the United Nations Security Council to adopt a code of conduct for the suspension of a country’s veto rights in cases involving mass atrocity crimes.
He added that Costa Rica "has conveyed the urgent need for the United Nations Security Council to work effectively and be able to structure an adequate response in accordance with its responsibility to provide protection and the obligations assigned in the Charter of the United Nations in cases in which the civilian population is being severely affected."
The Resident Coordinator of the UN System, Yoriko Yasukawa, emphasized the work carried out by Costa Rican authorities in favor of peace and human rights. "We hope that Costa Rica continues assuming an important leadership role in the world, in an effort to make a reality the ideals of the Universal Declaration, and thus the aspirations of the Member States of the United Nations, which designated this day for the commemoration of the Holocaust."
Holocaust survivor Salomon Fachler shared the experiences he lived during that stage of his life, and thanked Costa Rica for giving him the opportunity to raise a family and build a new life.
The commemoration concluded with the First Vice Minister, Alfio Piva, the Minster of Foreign Affairs, Enrique Castillo and Dr. William Soto of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, signing the of Act of delivery of the survivor’s commemorative plaque, which will be exhibited in the Ministry of Foregin Affairs for one month.