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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Nov 3, 2005, 10:00 pm ET


    by H.E. Mr. Valeriy Kuchinsky
    Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations
    on agenda item 72 "Holocaust remembrance" of the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly
    (1 November 2005)

    Mr. President,


    42nd General Assembly plenary meeting, Tuesday, 1 November 2005, a.m.

    Holocaust remembrance:
    Draft Resolution.

    NOTE: Ambassador Valery Kuchinsky addresses the General Assembly at approx. 27:25 - 35.36 (advance the player to that time frame) following the representative of Belarus.

    While aligning fully with the statement by EU Presidency, I would like to make a few remarks on behalf of Ukraine.

    Mr. President,

    Holocaust is a permanent pain not only of the Jewish but of the world community as a whole. We remember the enormous suffering of those who perished in the death camps of Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and many other hideous sites, where, in the name of a perverse inhuman ideology, millions of human beings were deliberately and cruelly exterminated. Jews and gypsies, men and women, children and the elderly, sons and daughters of different nations, including hundreds of thousands from Ukraine, became innocent victims of a ruthless political system that had brought immense losses to humankind.

    The terrible image of the Holocaust was vivid in the minds of those who authored the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of those who proclaimed and adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

    Many thought that the horrors of the Second World War - the camps, the cruelty, the exterminations like Holocaust - could never happen again. And yet they have - in Cambodia, Srebrenica, Rwanda and most recently in Darfur.

    Therefore we are deeply convinced that the history of the Holocaust must be learned and extensively explained so that similar tragedies would never happen. The inter-ethnic conflicts which unfortunately take place in the world even today show that mankind lacks tolerance and that the lessons of Holocaust remain highly relevant and require continued attention of the entire membership of the United Nations.

    Mr. President,

    The history of Holocaust is widely studied and taught in my country. The Government of Ukraine supports the initiative of the Jewish community on the creation of a Ukrainian Museum of Holocaust in Kyiv. We do hope that this project will be implemented shortly.

    The Orange Revolution has evoked dramatic transformations in the socio-political life of Ukraine. Those positive changes, I am sure, will have a favorable impact on the life of an over 100 thousand Jewish community which has made a worthy contribution to the strengthening of my country's independence.

    On the Government's level we are doing our best to create adequate conditions for the revival and development of all minorities, residing in Ukraine. The minority legislation, put in place to ensure the inter-ethnic harmony and national diversity in Ukraine, fully corresponds to the highest international human rights standards.

    Mr. President

    As we are commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, Ukraine remembers the shattering damage which intolerance, violence and aggression caused to her in recent past.

    This year marks the 72nd anniversary of one of the most tragic pages in Ukraine's history - the Great Famine of 1932-33 (Holodomor - in Ukrainian which means "death by famine").

    Deliberately targeted against the vital core of Ukrainian nation the cruel terror by hunger set up by the totalitarian Soviet regime led to the deaths of seven to ten million of innocent men, women and children.

    The scourge of Holodomor still remains a heavy psychological trauma in the life of our people. After more than seven decades this catastrophe appears as one of the most shocking crimes ever experienced by the humankind.

    And yet, Holodomor as Holocaust continues to belong to those national tragedies, which still await wider international recognition.

    Two years ago a Joint Statement on the 70th anniversary of Holodomor, supported by over 60 delegations - one third of UN membership - was issued as an official document of the General Assembly. In this declaration, for the first time in the history of the United Nations, Holodomor has been officially recognized as the national tragedy of Ukrainian people caused by the cruel actions and policies of the totalitarian regime. Representatives of the States from different parts of the world expressed sympathy to the victims of Holodomor and deplored the acts and policies that brought about mass starvation and death of millions of people.

    Ukraine will continue to do its utmost to bring the truth about Holodomor to the world at large. We think it is high time the international community recognize this crime against humanity as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.

    Mr. President

    The memory of far and near instances of genocide, crimes against humanity or gross and flagrant violations of human rights should never fade away. Therefore Ukraine has wholeheartedly supported and cosponsored the draft resolution that we have before us for adoption.

    In Ukraine, we have done and will continue to do everything to prevent the ideology of totalitarism, dictatorship, xenophobia and anti-Semitism from taking root on our national soil.

    My country is ready to assume its share of a collective responsibility to stop ongoing tragedies and prevent future crimes against humanity.

    As an important and promising outcome of the recent World Summit, the responsibility to protect should receive its practical implementation as well as further development.

    I thank you, Mr. President.

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