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Aims and priorities during the German Chairmanship 2020-2021

03.03.2020 - Article

2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the liberation of the concentration camps.

The Federal Republic of Germany faces up to its responsibility that arises from the murder, by Germans, of millions of Jews, Sinti and Roma, and members of other groups on the basis of the National Socialist ideology of destruction.

By assuming the IHRA chairmanship during this year of commemoration in 2020, Germany is sending a signal that it wishes to strengthen international cooperation in the fight against antisemitism and distortion of the Holocaust. In so doing, Germany is building on the commitment that the 34 member countries entered into when, on 19 January 2020 under the Luxembourg chairmanship, they adopted the IHRA Ministerial Declaration, which states:

[We] accept our responsibility as governments to continue working together to counter Holocaust denial and distortion, antisemitism, and all forms of racism and discrimination that undermine fundamental democratic principles. We will work closely with experts, civil society and our international partners to further these goals.

Flaggs of the IHRA member states
Flaggs of the IHRA member states© IHRA

Germany wishes to use its chairmanship above all to focus on the fight against any diminishing and distortion of the Holocaust. A Global Task Force against distortion of the Holocaust is being established for this purpose. Furthermore, Germany will use its chairmanship to campaign for wide acceptance of the working definitions of Holocaust denial and distortion and of antisemitism. At the same time, the chairmanship supports both efforts to draft a definition of antigypsyism and the dissemination of the recommendations for teaching and learning about the Holocaust that were adopted by the IHRA in 2019.

Germany’s chairmanship began with a handover from Luxembourg on 3 March 2020 and will end in March 2021 when Germany passes the role to Greece. Germany performs its chairmanship role in close cooperation with the previous and next chairmanship countries, as a troika. In 2020, Germany will host two plenary meetings, from 29 June to 2 July at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin and from 30 November to 3 December in Leipzig.

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