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Greece to hold the annual presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) for the year 2021

Tuesday, 04 December 2018

The Plenary of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, conducted in the city of Ferrara on 29 November 2018 under Italian presidency, unanimously decided that Greece is to take over the Presidency of the Alliance for the year 2021. The Greek presidency will follow the presidencies of Luxembourg (2019) and Germany (2020)

During the meeting, the head of the Greek Delegation, Dr. Efstathios Lianos Liantis, presented the proposal and the draft of Greece’s goals for the presidency, which include two summits in Athens and Thessaloniki, collaboration with regional organisations of important historical centres of Greek Jewry in order to conduct academic and cultural events/actions, for the purpose of preserving and safeguarding the memory of the Holocaust and the fight against anti-Semitism, the effort for expanding the Alliance with the incorporation of new member countries, and opening the doors of the organisation to civil society with a goal of garnering more support for its objectives.

Greece, a full member of IHRA since 2005, is taking over the presidency for the first time in the history of the Alliance. The presiding country hosts the meetings of the IHRA’s Plenary two times per year. The Plenary, which is the formal decision-making instrument of the IHRA, consists of the heads of the delegations of the IHRA member states and is in charge of adopting the recommendations and decisions of the Alliance for the inclusion of new countries, as well as for the structure of the permanent secretariat.

Europe’s oldest Jewish centres are found within Greece’s national space. Thessaloniki was the most important city of the Jewish diaspora for five centuries, as well as a city which bore witness to the Holocaust. The historic past, the dynamic presence of the Greek Jewish community as well as the academic, cultural, and political decisions and actions of recent years in Greece related to the memory of the Holocaust and tackling anti-Semitism, such as the establishment of the Holocaust Museum of Greece, were important parameters that contributed to the unanimous awarding of the presidency to Greece.