High-level conference on combating antisemitism kicks off Albanian OSCE chairmanship

Many of the IHRA’s core areas were discussed at the Conference on Combating Antisemitism in the OSCE Region, which took place today and yesterday in Tirana. The high-level conference was arranged by the current Albanian chairmanship of the OSCE.

Among the IHRA delegates present were Lord Eric Pickles and Karina Häuslmeier. Lord Pickles, Special Envoy on Post-Holocaust Issues and Head of the United Kingdom Delegation to the IHRA, moderated the panel discussion on the role of states in combating antisemitism in which Karina Häuslmeier took part. In March, Ms. Häuslmeier will take over as Head of the Delegation from Germany when Germany assumes the IHRA Chairmanship.

During the panel, Ms. Häuslmeier underlined the importance of coordinated efforts in fostering tolerance, the positive role that political representatives can play, as well as the utility of tools such as the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.

The problem of distortion of Holocaust history, a focus of the incoming German IHRA Chairmanship, was also a topic of discussion. Ms. Häuslmeier pointed out that Holocaust distortion often feeds into antisemitism, emphasizing the need to combat distortion and not only Holocaust denial. International political coordination is crucial to this effort, Ms. Häuslmeier said.

Today, Floriane Azoulay, Director of the Aroldson Archives, a Permanent International Partner of the IHRA, moderated a discussion on the role education in combating antisemitism. Ms. Azoulay highlighted the new IHRA Recommendations for Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust as one way to empower teachers and educators in their work against antisemitism.

Also in attendance was Ambassador Michael Baier, representing Austria at the conference. Ambassador Baier is Co-Head of the Austrian Delegation to the IHRA. During his statement, Ambassador Baier reminded the audience of the commitment to "to counter Holocaust denial and distortion, antisemitism, and all forms of racism and discrimination that undermine fundamental democratic principles" recently made by 35 countries in the IHRA Ministerial Declaration.


Find out more about the IHRA's work to combat antisemitism and Holocaust distortion and denial.

Photo: Karina Häuslmeier speaking during a panel dicussion with Elan Carr, United States Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism (left), moderated by Lord Eric Pickles.