Reuven Rivlin
Reuven RivlinMark Neyman/GPO/Flash 90

President Reuven Rivlin departed for New York on Saturday night, where he will address the United Nations Special Assembly to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Tuesday.

As well, Rivlin will hold meetings with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, visit West Point USMA, lay a wreath at the 9/11 Memorial, address members of the African-American, Hispanic and Jewish communities, and hold a number of other meetings.

Before boarding the plane, the President said that as he embarked on this mission, he carried with him the voices of the citizens of Israel, and also the voices of those perished in those dark times.

He reiterated that in commemorating the Holocaust, it should be clear that Israel is not compensation for the Holocaust, but the Holocaust proved beyond any shadow of a doubt why there was a need for the State of Israel.

The President stressed that his meetings with the UN Secretary General and the various community leaders, would address the promotion and strengthening of existing dialogues, and also provide opportunity for the development of new relationships. The President added that the United States was a true friend and important ally of Israel, and said he had no doubt his upcoming visit would evidence and strengthen that.

Rivlin accepted the invitation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to address the International Holocaust Remembrance Day speech from the podium of the General Assembly, during his visit to Israel last October.

January 27 was designated as a International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the United Nations General Assembly in 2005. It was on this date in 1945 that Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz death camp.

In 2013, the European Union incorporated International Holocaust Remembrance Day into its official calendar for the first time. This year, the day will be marked in Turkey as well.