The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) unites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research worldwide and to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration.
The IHRA (formerly the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, or ITF) was initiated in 1998 by former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Persson decided to establish an international organization that would expand Holocaust education worldwide, and asked President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to join him in this effort. Persson also developed the idea of an international forum of governments interested in discussing Holocaust education, which took place in Stockholm between 27 and 28 January 2000. The Forum was attended by twenty-three Heads of State or Prime Ministers and fourteen Deputy Prime Ministers or Ministers from forty-six governments. The Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust was the outcome of the Forum’s deliberations and is the foundation of the IHRA.
The IHRA is comprised of 32 Member Countries, two Liaison Countries, eight Observer Countries, and eight Permanent International Partners, including the United Nations, UNESCO and the European Union. Delegates are appointed as members of IHRA’s three working groups: Academic, Education, as well as Museum and Memorials, and to advance the work of three thematic committees on the Genocide of the Roma, antisemitism and Holocaust denial, and comparative approaches to Genocide studies.
Across national delegations, experts share knowledge, best practices and points of concern, and make recommendations to political representatives from ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs and Culture, to directly shape policy-making. Through its Grant Program the IHRA fosters international dialogue and the exchange of expertise. The IHRA has funded 410 projects across 48 countries.
The IHRA chairmanship rotates annually on a voluntary basis with bi-annual gatherings consisting of a four-day program of meetings, discussions and presentations culminating in a day-long Plenary. The Heads of Delegation of member countries comprise the decision-making body of IHRA, which operates on a consensus basis.
Luxembourg joined the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2003. Presided by Ambassador Georges Santer, Luxembourg took over the IHRA chairmanship on March 5th 2019 for one year. During the presidency, a series of cultural events and public debates are being held in the Grand Duchy, along with its central plenary sessions in Mondorf-les-Bains (03.06-05.06) and Luxembourg City (02.12-05.12).
In Luxembourg, interest in the Holocaust is growing constantly over the past years. The intense networking among IHRA member countries has strongly contributed to Luxembourg re-evaluating its focus on the Holocaust. True symbol of an evolving remembrance work, a monumental 4-meter high sculpture – by French-Israeli artist Shelomo Selinger, who himself was sent to concentration camps at the age of 13 – commemorating the victims of the Holocaust was inaugurated in Luxembourg City on June 17th 2018 at the very place where the first synagogue stood.