After four days of intense discussions at the IHRA plenary meeting, the delegates of the alliance's 31 member states adopted the first IHRA strategy framework today in Geneva. It sets out steps to implement more effectively the IHRA's vision: keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive and helping create a world without genocide. To realise this vision, the IHRA brings governments and experts together to promote education and research about the Holocaust, support events and protect memorials commemorating the Holocaust.
"Adopting this strategy framework is an important milestone in the IHRA's work. It will increase the impact of the alliance's efforts to raise people's consciousness of where racism and exclusion can lead", said IHRA chairman Benno Bättig. Switzerland has set education, youth and social media as priorities during its chairmanship. During the plenary session in Geneva, Switzerland organised an event in which pupils from Geneva and Biel presented their translations of memoirs of Holocaust survivors in Switzerland. "I am very impressed by the students' in-depth study of the topic, which put them in direct contact with Holocaust survivors, and the impression it has left on these young women and men", said Mr Bättig.
At the plenary meeting from 26 to 29 June in Geneva the discussions focused on education and research about the Holocaust and the challenge today of keeping the memory alive. Other topics were the protection and maintenance of sites connected with the Holocaust, as well as teaching materials on the subject.
Established in 1998, the IHRA aims to promote research and education about the Holocaust and to keep alive the memory of the victims through commemorations and memorials. The alliance has 31 members, 11 observer states and seven international partner organisations. Switzerland joined in 2004. It assumed the one-year chairmanship of the international organisation for the first time in March 2017 and will hand over this office to Italy in 2018. Today in Geneva it was decided that Luxembourg will assume the chairmanship in 2019.
The next IHRA plenary meeting under Switzerland's chairmanship will take place at the end of November 2017 in Bern.
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