Sweden to lead the work of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2022–23

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Sweden has been entrusted with holding the Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) from 1 March 2022 until 28 February 2023. The decision was taken at the IHRA’s digital plenary meeting in Leipzig on 3 December 2020.

Annika Ben David, Ambassador for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law and Head of Sweden's delegation to the IHRA.
Annika Ben David, Ambassador for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law and Head of Sweden's delegation to the IHRA. Photo: Government Offices of Sweden

Sweden will chair the IHRA twenty plus years after the first Stockholm Forum on the Holocaust and one year after the Malmö Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

“I have promised survivors to do what I can as Prime Minister – and as a human being – for Holocaust remembrance and combating antisemitism today. I intend to keep that promise. The Presidency of the IHRA, the Malmö Forum and the coming museum about Sweden and the Holocaust are all important parts of these efforts”, says Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

“Even though history has shown us what the ultimate consequences of antisemitism, antiziganism and racism can be, they still exist in all parts of society. Sweden must set an example and do all it can to prevent something similar from happening again. Remembering is also about learning from history”, says Minister for Culture and Democracy Amanda Lind.

In May 1998, on the eve of the new millennium, Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the President of the United States Bill Clinton agreed to set up a Task Force to promote international cooperation on Holocaust education, remembrance and research, laying the foundation for the IHRA.

The first Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust took place on 26–28 January 2000. The Stockholm Declaration became the founding document of the IHRA.

It is with a sense of historical responsibility that the Government of Sweden declares itself ready to lead the IHRA, twenty years after its establishment, thus building on to the work of Prime Minister Persson two decades earlier.

Prime Minister Löfven’s deep commitment to the cause of combating antisemitism has been expressed through a series of measures to strengthen security for Sweden’s Jewish community.

A state museum for passing on the testimonies of those Holocaust survivors who sought refuge in Sweden is to be established. 50 heads of state and government and 20 organizations have been invited to the Malmö Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, 13-14 October 2021.

The IHRA presidency will be another significant undertaking by Prime Minister Löfven and his government.

One central priority of the Swedish Presidency will be to follow up on the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

"Taking upon itself the Presidency of the IHRA, is the first and a central national pledge for Sweden", says Annika Ben David, Ambassador for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law and Head of Sweden's delegation to the IHRA.

“The magnitude of the Holocaust must be forever seared in our collective memory. The unprecedented character of the Holocaust will always hold universal meaning”, says Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

“Antisemitism and all forms of racism are threats to us all and to our open and democratic societies. Wherever we see antisemitism, and no matter who expresses it, we must step in and – with unwavering resoluteness – expose, confront and combat it. Antisemitism is a direct threat to Jews, but it is not a problem to be borne by Jews alone. We must address Holocaust denial and antisemitism by protecting and promoting democratic values and respect for human rights”, he continues.