Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Drobnjak Permanent Representative of the Republic of Croatia at the Informal meeting of the plenary of the General Assembly on Anti-Semitism

New York, 22 January 2015


Mr. President,

Croatia aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union and I would like to add the following in my national capacity:
Today's meeting is a significant event that transcends the boundaries of an ordinary working day in the United Nations. The subject that gathered us today is anything but ordinary. Nor are the times we live in. The painful evidence of it are the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. These heinous acts demonstrate how unforgiving the consequences of intolerance and perversion of religion can be.
The demonstration of solidarity during the march in Paris and in many other places - which brought together people of all religious beliefs, citizens and their leaders alike - emphasized our common readiness to stand together in defending shared values of our societies, religious freedoms and fundamental human rights. Today’s meeting is another confirmation of that. 
Croatia is taking the floor today to demonstrate its strong support for all the efforts to promote freedom of belief and expression, inter religious tolerance and mutual respect. We are standing against all forms of radicalism, prejudice, discrimination, racism and xenophobia. Anti-Semitism certainly falls into these categories.
Croatia strongly condemns any form of Anti-Semitism and advocates zero tolerance towards it.
Anti-Semitism history is a long and painful one with enough lessons to be learned for many lifetimes. It seems, unfortunately, that the mankind has not learned all the lessons yet. Anti-Semitism is not just a tragic story from the troubled past; it is still here, and in some parts of the world, as sad as it is, it is even on the rise.
Countless words have been said on this subject, but obviously not enough.
On 27 January we shall commemorate in this very hall the Holocaust Remembrance Day. Seven decades have passed since the liberation of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, but the passage of time does not make the significance of it, nor the need to remember it, any less relevant.
Our commitment to “never again” is constantly challenged and we must stand firmly to this challenge. For this reason Croatia is actively involved in the Holocaust Remembrance. By facing our own history, by becoming more self-aware of it, we promote Holocaust Remembrance and honour properly the millions that perished in the mankind’s darkest hour.
So many are still misusing history, exploiting economy, misinterpreting facts and abusing politics so as to spread hatred. Here in the United Nations we must be constantly mindful of the statements we deliver and decisions we make so that they all contribute as much as possible to our efforts to suppress and eradicate this malevolence.
Let us be clear: nothing can justify Anti-Semitism. It is our common responsibility to raise awareness of the existence of Anti-Semitism and stand against any form it might take.
Hatred is the poison of the soul, for the individual being and humanity itself. One man’s misery is not the other man’s fortune. It will never be.
We must remember and pay tribute to all the victims of radicalism and intolerance, to all those countless people who were harassed, tortured and killed just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time and not to someone’s liking.  
We must never get tired of saying what is good and deploring what is wrong.

I thank you.