Kathmandu, January 27
With support from Nepal’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the United Nations, Nepal, together with the Embassy of Germany, the Embassy of Israel and Delegation of the European Union to Nepal organised a month-long educational outreach programme about the holocaust in 15 public and 10 private schools of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur respectively.
This year marks both the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the establishment of the United Nations.
According to a press release issued jointly by the UN System, Embassy of Germany, Embassy of Israel and the European Union here today, during the school outreach programme students were briefed about the horrors emerging from discrimination and intolerance and they were urged to stand against injustice and never again repeat acts of genocide anywhere in the world.
The release quoted the United Nations Resident Coordinator Valerie Julliand as saying that “Understanding our history connects us to the essential human values of truth, respect, justice and compassion. As these values are still being threatened from all sides, we must reaffirm them more strongly than ever and stand every day and everywhere against anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred of all kinds.”
Various orientation sessions on the holocaust were conducted for around 500 students of higher secondary level as part of their Social Studies curriculum.
In order to increase awareness about the holocaust, the UN and the three diplomatic missions mobilised 35 youth volunteers pursuing their bachelor’s and master’s degrees to facilitate the school outreach programmes.
Ambassador of Israel to Nepal Benny Omer said one of the darkest realities in the history of mankind was the holocaust.
“We must remember not to repeat that history. Our joint responsibility is not over yet,” he added.
The month-long observation concluded with a memorial ceremony hosted by German Ambassador Roland Schafer. At the ceremony attended by government representatives, diplomats and civil society members, United Nations Resident Coordinator Valerie Julliand and Chargé d’affaires of the delegation of European Union Bashkim Bituci shared the stories of Holocaust victims.
On the occasion, German Ambassador Schäfer said all democratic governments currently faced the challenge of finding the right balance between banning hateful content and preserving the freedom of speech.
“Anywhere, and in Nepal, governments are well advised to listen to young people who need to be protected from discrimination,” he said.
One of the darkest realities in the history of mankind is the holocaust
A version of this article appears in print on January 28, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.