On March 8th, 2016 Romania took over the chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) from Hungary, in a solemn ceremony at the Romanian Embassy in Berlin.
Romania will exercise this high responsibility between March 2016 and March 2017; the office of chairman will be exercised by Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Taking over the chairmanship demonstrates Romania’s strong commitment to assuming its own past, honoring the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and combat xenophobic and anti-Semitic manifestations.
The priorities of the Romanian IHRA chairmanship are: working with the regular and social media to promote awareness of the Holocaust, as well as to combat denial of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, racism, extremism discrimination and xenophobia; strengthening education in the matter of the Holocaust within the organization’s member and observer states and promoting academic research into the Holocaust. The Romanian chairmanship’s three priorities support the IHRA’s fundamental goals – remembrance, education and research into the Holocaust – thus contributing to strengthening the organization’s mission.
During its chairmanship Romania will constantly follow activities concerning remembrance, education and research into the Holocaust; awareness in the Romanian society, especially among the young generations, of a tragic chapter in the national history and acceptance thereof; increasing the interest with the Holocaust of the young researchers; creating a more consistent approach to studying the Holocaust at university level; increased knowledge of this topic within the institutions.
Attending the ceremony where Romania took over the chairmanship of IHRA were members of the Jewish community in Germany, representatives of the German political life, the diplomatic corps accredited in Berlin, Romanians living in Germany. Speaking at the ceremony were Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, chairman of IHRA on behalf of Romania, and presidential advisor Laurențiu-Mihai Ștefan ho conveyed a message from Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis. Speaking for Hungary, which exercised the IHRA chairmanship until this March 2016, was Szabolcs Takács. Also attending this ceremony was Romanian Ambassador in Berlin Emil Hurezeanu.
The Berlin ceremony was shared by live tweeting on the @IHRA_news account, and re-tweeted on @MAERomania.
The International Holocaust and Remembrance Alliance/IHRA, formerly ITF (Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research) is an inter-governmental alliance created in 1998 on the initiative of Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson.