"The extermination of millions of Jewish people during World War II was a crime against all humankind. In remembering the Holocaust and paying tribute to its victims, we renew our commitment to fight against the evils of racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism.
"The Holocaust stands alone in human history for its horror and its inhumanity. It is crucial that we learn from this experience, not only to ensure that such atrocities never take place again, but also to better enable us to build societies based on a respect for human dignity, in which such acts are not possible.
"Our government has taken a principled stance in combating Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. More than a year ago, I announced that Canada would refuse to participate in the racist Durban process because we had serious concerns that the failings of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, would be repeated at the 2009 Durban Review Conference. In 2001, the Durban Conference degenerated into open and divisive expressions of intolerance and anti-Semitism. Yesterday's speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vindicated Canada's principled decision to lead the world in withdrawing from the conference. As a result of Canada announcing its withdrawal from the Durban Review Conference, Canada's seat will be vacant for the duration of the conference.
Under our government, Canada will support any international conference that combats racism; we will not, however, lend Canada's good name to those that promote it.
"The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that the Holocaust is not forgotten. To that end, Canada co-sponsored the UN resolution that led to the recognition of January 27th as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. In 2007, Canada co-sponsored another UN resolution that condemned denial of the Holocaust. Canada has consistently voted against unbalanced resolutions within the UN. "
This commitment is also reflected in our ongoing efforts to attain full membership in the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research. In 2008, we took another step forward and received liaison status in this Task Force and, in June, I will present Canada's formal application for full membership.
"As Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I urge Canadians to learn about the Holocaust, to remember its victims, and to reject all forms of hatred and discrimination."
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day: