In continuation of its activities marking the 2016 the International Day of Commemoration In Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, in conjunction with Education District VI of the Lagos State Ministry of Education held a students’ briefing session and film screening on 27th January, 2016.
Attended by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Her Excellency Dr. Idiat Adebule who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of Education in Lagos State, Mrs Ariyo; the Tutor General/ Permanent Secretary for District VI, Mrs Abimbola Anifowoshe; and other dignitaries including representatives of NGOs and the media, the briefing noted that the 2016 theme, “The Holocaust and Human Dignity”, links Holocaust remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations and reaffirms faith in the dignity and worth of every person that is highlighted in the United Nations Charter, as well as the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Delivering the message of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, noted that “The Holocaust was a colossal crime. No-one can deny the evidence that it happened,” he explained that “By remembering the victims and honouring the courage of the survivors and those who assisted and liberated them, we annually renew our resolve to prevent such atrocities and reject the hateful mentality that allows them.
The Secretary-General urged everyone to denounce political and religious ideologies that set people against people. “Let us all speak out against anti-Semitism and attacks against religious, ethnic or other groups. Let us create a world where dignity is respected, diversity is celebrated, and peace is permanent.” He added.
In her speech, Deputy Governor Dr. Adebule appealed to the audience to celebrate the day as a symbol and expression of respect for human dignity. she advised “everyone irrespective of colour, religious, political or ideological leaning must learn to love and freely associate, respect the worth of human life”. Dr Adebule concluded with a plea that everyone should make the world a better place through dialogue, understanding, cooperation, tolerance and reconciliation.
Welcoming the audience, the Tutor General and Permanent Secretary of Lagos Education District VI, Mrs Abimbola Anifowoshe, called on Non-Governmental Organizations and Government Agencies to do everything within their power to promote love and respect for human dignity.
The Principal of Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior Grammar School, Mrs Adebola Kolawole, in her closing remarks, spoke strongly against all forms of injustices which affect right to life, dignity of human person and all forms of abuses and discrimination which violates fundamental human rights principles.
To drive home the understanding of the Holocaust, after screening the film, ‘The Path To Nazi Genocide’, students were arranged in groups according to their schools, to resolve the ‘Holocaust Word Search Puzzle’ developed by Ms Abiola Bashorun, an intern with UNIC Lagos. They all did well with some achieving 100% completion.
The observance was attended by about 300 people of whom over 200 were students.