Press Room

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu Attends the Ministerial Reunion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)

Press release

The minister of foreign affairs Bogdan Aurescu attended the ministerial meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in Brussels, on January 19, 2020. The event was organized by Luxembourg, the country that currently holds the Presidency of the organization.

In his intervention at the opening of the event, minister Bogdan Aurescu highlighted the importance of the organization's activity in the current international context, marked by the worrying increase of the phenomena of anti-Semitism and intolerance.

The Romanian minister expressed Romania's unequivocal support for the adoption, at the meeting, of a ministerial Declaration confirming the principles of the Stockholm Declaration, the founding document of the IHRA, signed in 2000. “Twenty years after the adoption of the Stockholm Declaration, we are witnessing, with deep regret, an unprecedented increase in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in our societies. Therefore, we have the responsibility to act in order to ensure a climate of respect, tolerance and diversity for the Jewish communities in our countries. Romania is making important efforts to become a true regional model in terms of assuming the past and promoting the memory of the Holocaust. At the same time, during the recent Romanian Presidency of the Council of EU, we promoted – as a priority – the fight against anti-Semitism. We hope that other presidencies of the Council of the EU will follow our example”, underlined minister Bogdan Aurescu on this occasion.

During the session, the minister of foreign affairs also referred to the successful mandate of the Romanian Presidency-in-Office of the IHRA, between March 2016 and March 2017, which focused on three priorities: strengthening education regarding the Holocaust, encouraging academic research and combating anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination. In this context, minister Bogdan Aurescu evoked the personality of Mihnea Constantinescu, a diplomat who coordinated the program of the Romanian Presidency of the Alliance, by paying tribute to his memory.

Minister Bogdan Aurescu also presented the concrete steps taken by Romania, in the recent period, in terms of assuming the past, education and research on the Holocaust and commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, including the introduction in the Romanian legislation of the working definition of anti-Semitism, agreed within the IHRA in during the Romanian presidency, reconfirming Romania's on-going commitment in these areas.

Background information

The International Alliance for Holocaust Remembrance (IHRA) is an international organization based in Berlin, composed of 34 member states. IHRA was founded in 1998 and operates on the basis of the Stockholm Declaration, acting to strengthen the memory, research and education on the Holocaust.

Romania held the IHRA Presidency-in-Office between March 2016 and March 2017. Romania's three priorities were to strengthen Holocaust education, encourage academic research and combat anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination.

The most significant result achieved by the Alliance during the Presidency of Romania was the adoption of the working definition of anti-Semitism, in the plenary meeting of the organization in Bucharest, in May 2016.