An exhibit on the 70th anniversary of the great famine in Ukraine, which took millions of lives due to the forced collectivization policies of Joseph Stalin, has opened at United Nations headquarters in New York with several speakers calling the tragedy a dark page in world history.
"The famine, as you all know, was a significant event in the modern history of Ukraine, but even more in the history of the world because some estimates put the death toll at more than 6 million, which certainly in 20th century human history ranks with the worst atrocities of our time," Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Publication Shashi Tharoor told the opening reception last night.
The exhibits for what has become known as the Man-Made Great Famine in Ukraine 1932-1933 consist of representations of historic materials provided by the Ukrainian museum in New York.
Ukrainian Ambassador Valeriy Kuchinsky told the gathering that the crime of Holodomor (literally murder by hunger) should not be forgotten but that the exhibition was not staged to avenge the past but to prevent any recurrence in the future.
"We are convinced that exposing violations of human rights, preserving historical records and restoring the dignity of victims by recognizing their suffering will help the international community avoid similar catastrophes in the future," he said.
General Assembly President Julian Hunte of St. Lucia, and several former assembly presidents, including Hennady Oudovenko of Ukraine, attended the opening.