WESTERN BALKANS – Today commemorates the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp and the ending of the Holocaust. Each year on 27 January, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day serves as a tribute to the memory of the Holocaust victims. Moreover, it reaffirms and calls for commitment to countering antisemitism, racism and all forms of violence and injustice.
On this occasion, RYCO recalls that remembrance and dealing with the past are imperative to peacebuilding.
We believe that working towards true and enduring reconciliation involves a process of bringing together individuals, groups and societies burdened by past or present conflicts and the negative perceptions of ‘the other’. It is addressing our shared and lived experiences as well as honest cooperation and ongoing exchange that will help us build a region where peace and justice prevail.
In addition, we draw attention to the fact that both formal and non-formal education are significant components of this process. Education and knowledge stand at the solid foundation of a society that respects human dignity and rights.
Having in mind that prejudice and stereotypes are still shaping the world and the Western Balkans, RYCO underscores that fighting against prejudices requires joint comprehensive efforts of governments, education institutions, media, and civil society for stable, peaceful and prosperous societies.