The 14 Words

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) successfully concludes meetings in Canada

Ottawa, October 21, 2013 — Minister for Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, announces the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has reached a consensus on a working definition of Holocaust denial and distortion at a Canada-led meeting in Toronto.
“I’m very pleased with the progress made at the IHRA meetings, which demonstrates the Government of Canada’s dedication to Holocaust remembrance, research and education,” said Minister Kenney.
“Canada’s goals as Chair of IHRA were ambitious, and I’m thrilled that we have been able to move such important issues forward.”
At the IHRA meeting in Toronto, great strides were made toward a working definition of Holocaust denial and distortion, which refer to any attempt to claim the Holocaust did not take place, and may include publicly denying or calling into doubt the use of principal mechanisms of destruction or the intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people. The definition also states that Holocaust denial in its various forms is an expression of anti-Semitism.

IHRA is a consensus-based intergovernmental body comprised of experts from 31 countries. Its mandate is to promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.

As IHRA Chair, Canada hosted the meetings from October 8-10, which were attended by Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism. Minister Kenney also attended and spoke at various other community organized special events held in conjunction with the bi-annual IHRA session. The meetings brought together over 175 experts, academics, and policymakers from around the world, representing 31 member countries, four observer countries, and six permanent observer organizations, to discuss the Holocaust as a contemporary issue. Representatives from Ukraine, Australia and Uruguay also attended as special guests.

Canada joined IHRA in 2009 and was named Chair in March 2013. Canada will chair IHRA until March 2014.

For more information on Canada and the Holocaust.

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