As millions of innocent Jews were killed in cold blood under a Nazi persecution, the day of Holocaust is annually marked as a UN Day to remind the people that such horrific atrocities should not be repeated.
However, atrocities against humanity continue in different parts of the world. Even as the number of incidents of genocide is increasing in different parts of the world, predators have tended to go scot free.
As Nepal has been trying to provide justice to the victims of insurgency through establishing National Reconciliation Commission and Disappearance Commission, the day assumes a greater importance.
Marking the Holocaust Memorial Day, diplomatic community in Nepal, together with several Nepali human rights defenders, stood in favor of a credible transitional justice process in Nepal to address conflict-era human rights violations.
The three-day event to commemorate the victims of Holocaust started off in Kathmandu amid a program jointly organized by the UN, EU, Germany, and Israel. Anup Raj Sharma, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, was the Chief Guest.
A UN Resolution in 2005 decided 27th January each year to be marked as Holocaust Memorial Day. It is considered a day to remember the millions of people who were murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur and elsewhere.
Addressing the program, Ambassador of Israel to Nepal Benny Omer said this day of memory of victims of the holocaust is the day to remember the atrocities of the past and learn the lesson for the future. Resident coordinator of United Nations Valarie Julliand read the message of UN Secretary-General.
Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal Veronica Cody also addressed the program.
As the Chief Guest of the program, NHRC Chair Sharma said Holocaust Memorial Day would remind mankind of its obligation to face its past, adding that the Holocaust was an incomparably deep tragedy.
In a symbolic gesture, German Ambassador to Nepal Roland Schaefer, who was the host of the event, stood together with Israeli Ambassador to Nepal Benny Omer and said that the Holocaust Memorial Day was the day on which the Germans confronted their historic shame every year.
In a meaningful reference regarding Nepal through his address, ambassador Schaefer stressed on the need of a transitional justice process which would be able to address the concerns of conflict victims. The International Community, particularly the western democracies and UN, are said to be unhappy with the workings of current two commissions on Transitional Justice.
The assertion of German Ambassador, who is otherwise openly appreciative of Nepal’s Peace Process, can be taken as an indication of the collective dissatisfaction of the international community. Ambassadors of the EU countries, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Republic of Korea and UN were present on the occasion.
Along with the global community, Nepal also commemorates Holocaust Day. Now the time has come for Nepal to provide justice to the victims of conflict in Nepal as well. Nepal needs to uphold the spirit of Holocaust memorial by giving justice to all the victims through internationally recognized credible justice system.