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A day against totalitarianism

2009/08/23

Today we celebrate for the first time the international day against totalitarian regimes. It is an excellent initiative taken by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. It is also very appropriate to have the ceremony today, exactly 70 years after the Molotov-Ribbentop-pact was signed, a pact that led to the horrible second world war, the killing of millions of people and the atrocities of the Holocaust.

We also commemorate that 20 years have gone since the fall of the Berlin Wall. This led to freedom and democracy in former dictatorships and enabled the reunification of Europe. This is indeed worth celebrating, and I am honoured to give the inauguration speach at the ceremony here in Stockholm. I do this to pay tribute to the struggle for democracy and human rights all over the world, to honour those who have died in the name of totalitarian regimes, and also to encourage all the brave people who still risk their lives in the fight for freedom and democracy.

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