Statement of the IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, regarding the outcome of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg.

Following the conclusion on 9 December 2016 of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg, I would like to commend the efforts and the strong commitment of the German Chairmanship  to promote the endorsement by OSCE of the working definition of antisemitism previously adopted by the IHRA.

I am grateful to the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank Walter Steinmeier, and his team for the continuous efforts in the last months to advance a consensus on this matter. I also praise the contribution to these efforts by Rabbi Andrew Baker, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chair-in-Office on Combating Antisemitism.  

I have taken note of the outcome of the debates within the OSCE Ministerial Council regarding the Definition on antisemitism, which were regretfully impeded by some positions which are difficult to reconcile with the democratic nature of the IHRA community.

At the same time, as IHRA Chair, I am grateful to all EU member states for their common stance in supporting the adoption of the Definition on antisemitism put forward by the OSCE. This is a commendable and worthy achievement for all the EU members and on behalf of the IHRA I express our praise and appreciation to each of them.

The IHRA will be ready to work with the future OSCE Chairmanship to consolidate governments’ support for the adoption of the definition. The needed support will be proof of the credibility for respecting and defending  human values.