“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
From 27-30 November, 2017, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance holds its second bi-annual Plenary Meeting under the Swiss Chairmanship in Bern.
Over four days almost 200 experts and policymakers from the IHRA’s 31 Member Countries, one Liaison Country, ten Observer Countries, and seven international partner organisations gather to discuss Holocaust education, research and remembrance as a contemporary political issue. The current Chair of the IHRA is Ambassador Benno Baettig.
At the meetings in Bern, the IHRA delegates are focussing on topics such as supporting the protection and preservation of Holocaust-related sites throughout its Member Countries and beyond, as well as sharing good practices in the field of Holocaust education, research and remembrance. Following up on the Geneva Plenary meetings, the Plenary will continue to discuss a strategy framework to make the work of the IHRA more efficient and effective.
On Sunday, 26 November, a conference was held on the murder of people with disabilities and the Holocaust together with the Paedagogische Hochschule Bern and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.
On Monday 27 November a reception for delegates was held together with the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities. Addressing participants, Benno Bättig underlined the importance of remembrance, stating "We remember to commemorate those who lost their lives. Let us also remember for those who survived - and for those who came after."
Mr. Herbert Winter, President of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, also addressed the IHRA delegates and guests, including a number of Holocaust survivors, who were invited by the Swiss Chairmanship.
The 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.