Today, Sweden assumes the Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) from Greece. This comes over twenty years after the adoption of the Stockholm Declaration and nearly six months after the country hosted the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism – Remember ReAct.
Sweden's Presidency follows the successful Greek Presidency, which saw the advancement of Holocaust education around the world and strengthened efforts to combat antisemitism, especially online.
The assumption of the IHRA Presidency fulfills one of Sweden’s pledges presented at the Malmö Forum. Under the Swedish Presidency, the IHRA will prioritize following up on Malmö Forum pledges and will continue efforts to counter distortion and safeguard the record of the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma. Sweden will hold two plenary meetings this year: the first in Stockholm and the second in Gothenburg.
“The world has changed since 1998, when Sweden helped found the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, but the IHRA remains just as important today, if not more so. Holocaust education, remembrance and research is dearly needed in a time of increasing Holocaust denial and distortion, antisemitism, antigypsyism, racism, intolerance and discrimination, that undermine fundamental democratic principles and everyone’s full enjoyment of human rights. Sweden looks forward to leading the IHRA and contributing to the continuous progress and impact of the organization and its member countries,” said IHRA Chair Ambassador Ann Bernes.
“The IHRA’s work is based in consensus- and coalition-building; it is based in collaboration. This spirit was established at Stockholm over twenty years ago, and it is one that I also found at the Malmö Forum. I am sure it will carry through this year’s Swedish Presidency,”said IHRA Secretary General Dr. Kathrin Meyer.
Sweden is a founding member of the IHRA. Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson initiated the IHRA (formerly the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, or ITF) in 1998. This is the first time the country will hold the Presidency since the IHRA’s founding.