On 26 May 2016, the IHRA successfully concluded its first bi-annual Plenary meeting under the Romanian Chairmanship in Bucharest.
Over four days almost 300 experts and policymakers from the IHRA’s 31 Member Countries, ten Observer Countries, and seven international partner organisations gathered to discuss Holocaust education, research and remembrance as a contemporary political issue.
The highlight of the Plenary session was the adoption, by the IHRA Plenary, of a working definition of antisemitism.
IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, stated:
“All IHRA Member Countries share concern that incidents of antisemitism are steadily rising and agree that IHRA’s Member Countries and indeed IHRA’s experts need political tools with which to fight this scourge. IHRA’s 31 member countries- 24 of which are EU member countries- are committed to the Stockholm Declaration and thereby to fighting the evil of antisemitism through coordinated international political action.”
The IHRA Chair continued: “By adopting this working definition, the IHRA is setting an example of responsible conduct for other international fora and hopes to inspire them also to take action on a legally binding working definition.”
For more information on the adopted working definition of antisemitism, click here.
The IHRA was also pleased to welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina as its eleventh Observer Country. Bosnia and Herzegovina was represented in Bucharest by Mr. Almir Šahovi?, Assistant Minister for Multilateral Relations.
On 25 May 2016, within the framework of the plenary meetings, IHRA Honorary Chairman Yehuda Bauer was awarded the National Order for Merit by the President of Romania, H.E. Klaus Iohannis.
During the meetings IHRA’s Education Research Project presented the outcome of the concluding conference on research on education about the Holocaust which was held from 14-17 February 2016 in Lucerne. The project report will be published in 2017 as the third volume in the IHRA publication series.
The second volume in the IHRA publication series “Bystanders, Rescuers or Perpetrators? The Neutral Countries and the Shoah” was also presented and is available free of charge on the IHRA website.
Other IHRA projects currently in progress include; the planning for a conference on the topic of the mass murder of people with disabilities and its connection to the Holocaust in 2017, a research project on institutions, museums, governmental and non-governmental organizations that offer programs using a comparative approach to teach about the Holocaust and genocide, and a possible conference in 2017 on the topic of refugees together with the Holy See.
IHRA is a unique intergovernmental organization which places political and social leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research both nationally and internationally.
For a picture of the IHRA’s year in review, please see the organization’s online annual report: www.holocaustremembrance.com/annualreport
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