Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman opened the conference with the hope that the proceedings would " unify the energies of governments, international organizations and civil society to impede genocides and grave human rights violations continuing around the world".
Drawing on this proposal, the Centre's International Relations Director, Dr.Shimon Samuels, noted "the inter-parliamentary campaign - 'The Responsibility to Prevent' - to bring Iran before the International Criminal Court for violating the United Nations Genocide Convention.
Samuels continued, "Tehran's domestic repression, abuse of women, Holocaust denial, patronage of terrorism, incitement to hatred and nuclear aspirations threaten world peace. The indictment by INTERPOL of Iranian officials directly complicit in two terror attacks on Argentine soil, should favour all-party Congressional support.
UNESCO was represented by Dr.Graciela Vaserman Samuels, Chargeé de Mission of the Director-General, Susana Rinaldi, Ambassador of Goodwill and Juliana Burton of the Argentine National Commission.
Also present at the conference were diplomatic representatives of Angola, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico and Poland. Germany inaugurated the exhibition, " Nazi Euthanasia of the Handicapped: Hitler's First Victims", produced by Olokaustos, the Venice-based Association for Historical Studies.
The Centre paid tribute to four laureates, honoured for their resistance to the Nazis and against the Argentine military dictatorship:
- Rosa Roisinblit, for the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo
- Sara Rus, Holocaust survivor, for the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo
- Pestazlozzi Highschool, founded by anti-Nazi Germans in 1934
- Tzedaka Foundation, for social assistance to Holocaust survivors
Over sixty highschool students participated throughout the day. Libertad Synagogue Rabbi, Simon Moguilevsky, gave the invocation in memory of all victims of terrorism and genocide.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with a worldwide membership of 440,000. Established in 1977, with headquarters in Los Angeles, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues of prejudice and discrimination. The Centre is an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.
For further information, please contact Dr Shimon Samuels at +33.609.7701.58