“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
On 27 January the Head of the Austrian Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), Ambassador Michael Baier, and Advisor to the IHRA, Professor Steven Katz, participated in the commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Tirana, Albania.
The commemoration is organized by the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will take the form of a conference entitled “We remember. Promoting human rights through the lens of Holocaust education and remembrance”.
The event aims to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust as well as to stress the importance of Human Rights in protecting human dignity and human life.
Ambassador Michael Baier provided opening remarks to a panel discussion, focusing in his address on the importance of an international culture of remembrance and stressing the responsibility that governments have to commemorate the Holocaust. Read Ambassador Baier's address.
Professor Steven Katz took part in the panel discussion along with the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, and will highlight the importance of education about the Holocaust in strengthening societies against the threats of discrimination and prejudice.
As in previous years invitees included cabinet ministers, representatives of diplomatic corps accredited to Tirana, parliamentarians, representatives of religious communities and civil society, as well as members of families of Holocaust survivors.
Richelle Budd-Caplan, Chair of IHRA's Steering Committee on Holocaust Memorial Days said "We were very pleased when representatives from the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs took part in our roundtable in 2015. The aim of the roundtable was to provide governments from IHRA’s Observer Countries with practical tools and best practices for their own commemorative events. One of IHRA’s key messages is that the Holocaust and its commemoration is of universal importance and is the responsibility of governments. Accordingly we are delighted to see Albania putting the knowledge gained at the roundtable into action and organzing thoughtful, visible commemorations with the involvement of the highest political level.”
Albania became an IHRA Observer Country in 2014 and the Head of the Albanian Delegation to the IHRA is Dr Donika Hoxha.
Representatives of the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs took part in an IHRA roundtable on Holocaust Memorial Days run by the Steering Committee on Holocaust Memorial Days from 2-3 December 2015.
The event was held at the University of Tirana.
Image: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati, addresses audience.