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Toronto Plenary


Governmental representatives from IHRA’s 31 member countries, five observer countries, and six permanent international partners gathered to discuss Holocaust education, research and remembrance at the IHRA Plenary session on 10 October in Toronto.

This was the second Plenary held under the 2013 Canadian Chairmanship, following the June Plenary in Berlin, Germany.

Several important decisions were approved in Toronto, including:

  • Adoption of a working definition on Holocaust denial and distortion
  • Further progress on IHRA’s multi-year work plan, which focuses on four central issues:  archives, educational research, Holocaust memorial days, and killing sites
  • Establishment of the Yehuda Bauer Grant to recognize one outstanding proposal submitted through IHRA’s Grant Programme each year
  • Acceptance of Uruguay as IHRA’s fifth observer country
  • Adoption of internal working rules
  • Creation of an annual IHRA Chairmanship report
  • Endorsement of Hungary to take on the 2015 IHRA Chairmanship

IHRA experts also focused on key Holocaust-related issues in meetings of IHRA’s four Working Groups (Academic, Education, Museums and Memorials, and Communication), as well as in special committees concentrating on antisemitism and Holocaust denial, the genocide of the Roma, and the Holocaust and other genocides. 

To advance Canada’s goal of raising awareness of IHRA, special guests from Australia and Ukraine also attended the Plenary session.  The IHRA Chair additionally met with IHRA’s permanent international partners to further increase cooperation and coordination. 

“I’m very pleased with the progress made at the IHRA meetings, which demonstrates the Government of Canada’s dedication to Holocaust remembrance, research and education,” said Canada's Minister for Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney. “Canada’s goals as Chair of IHRA were ambitious, and I’m thrilled that we have been able to move such important issues forward.”

Canada became a member of IHRA in 2009 and was appointed Chair in March 2013 until March 2014.  For more information on the Canadian Chairmanship, please visit: