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Canadian Museum for Human Rights establishes formal partnership with the Memorial in Commemoration of Famines’ Victims in Ukraine

News Article

KYIV, July 4, 2012 – Mr. Stuart Murray, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), and Victor Didenko, Chief Executive Officer of the Memorial in Commemoration of Famines’ Victims in Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday that will see their organizations collaborate to promote human rights though education and example.   

"The Canadian Museum for Human Rights will strive to enhance understanding of human rights issues, not only in Canada, but internationally.  Working with excellent institutions like the Memorial is one way for us to meet this noble mandate,” said Stuart Murray.  “By raising awareness of the Holodomor, the genocide- famine created by the Soviet Union in Ukraine in 1932-33, we hope to remind people the importance of breaking the silence on human rights issues.  Denial and suppression only compound the violations that occur.  This partnership will help bring the story of the Holodomor to a wider audience, to the benefit of generations to come."

"The Memorial in Commemoration of Famines’ Victims in Ukraine, the National Museum which is the center of honoring and preserving the memory of the people who were murdered by famine during the first half of the 20th century, is working on expanding its activities and aims to become the global research center studying the question of famine,” said Victor Didenko.  “During the famine of 1932-1933, Ukraine lost at least 4 million people. This number is shocking. The reasons of those events, the scale, and the consequences should be thoroughly investigated, studied, analyzed and reported to the world. The international community should realize that famine is the most terrible and powerful weapon of mass destruction. By means of hunger and the lack of food, tyrants conquered millions of people in the past; they suppressed their freedom and dignity and turned them into slaves.  International cooperation with the CMHR will facilitate the comprehensive and objective study of famine as a phenomenon that will prevent such tragedies in the future."

This memorandum of understanding outlines numerous opportunities for collaboration between the CMHR and the Memorial.  Both organizations will work together to exchange knowledge and expertise and to share materials and research resources related to the Holodomor.  They will work together to educate the international community on issues of human rights, with a particular focus on the relevance of the Holodomor to human rights today.  Both organizations will look for occasions to work together to advance human rights education and programming.

These collaborative efforts will help to bring greater awareness to the Holodomor and other human rights issues around the world.

To read the full speech delivered by CMHR President and CEO Stuart Murray at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, visit: http://humanrightsmuseum.ca/content/speech-delivered-president-and-ceo-stuart-murray-memorial-commemoration-famines-victims.

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About the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), currently under construction in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, was established to provide a place for Canadians, and the world, to explore and promote the subject of human rights and to encourage human rights action. The CMHR is the first Canadian national museum established in over 40 years, and the first national museum to be located outside the National Capital Region of Ottawa, Ontario.  For more information about the CMHR please visit http://humanrightsmuseum.ca/ or follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/cmhr_news and on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/canadianmuseumforhumanrights.

About the Memorial in Commemoration of Famines’ Victims in Ukraine

The Memorial in Commemoration of the Famines' Victims in Ukraine was founded to commemorate the famines' victims, to remember the scale of the tragedy of the Holodomor, and to learn from these events so that they never occur again.  The Memorial is situated on Pechersk Hills, on one of Kyiv's most picturesque and ancient places - the high bank of the Dnieper River, not far from Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.  For more information, visit http://www.memorialgolodomors.org/Museum/Main-Engl.htm.

For more information on the partnership between the Memorial in Commemoration of Famines’ Victims in Ukraine and the CMHR or for media inquiries, please contact: 

Angela Cassie
Director of Communications
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Tel:  1 204 289-2000
Cell: 1 204 290-3651
angela.cassie@humanrightsmuseum.ca