“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
Belgium assumed the 2012 Chairmanship and Daniel Libeskind unveiled his new logo at today's handover ceremony in Berlin.
The ceremony took place at the Belgian Embassy in Berlin, Germany and was hosted by Belgian Ambassador Reiner Nijskens. Ambassador Nijskens addressed the attendees from the diplomatic corps and the media in Berlin. He was followed by speeches from Ambassador Karel de Beer, the outgoing Chair from the Netherlands, and Ambassador Jan Deboutte, the incoming Chair from Belgium. Both the incoming and outgoing Chairmen commented on the continued importance and relevance of the Holocaust in the 21st century, and stated that ITF's mandate is as relevant today as it was when the organization was founded 14 years ago. Ambassador de Beer and Ambassador Deboutte emphasized that remembering, education, and researching about the Holocaust is an important obligation in modern democratic societies.
Ambassador Deboutte stated, "Unfortunately, 12 years after we solemnly adopted this Stockholm Declaration, we cannot but note an increase in manifestations, statements and acts of racism, antisemitism and xenophobia. To promote the education, remembrance and research about the Holocaust in a deteriorating environment will require increased efforts and cooperation of all, especially since the number of direct witnesses, of survivors, is rapidly dwindling. The Belgian Chairmanship stands ready to cooperate with all ITF members, observers, and representatives of the civil society to achieve our common goals." The full text of Ambassador Deboutte's speech is available here.
Dr. Daniel Libeskind designed the new logo and delivered the keynote speech at the ceremony. In explaining his design, he stated, "It is a global issue. It is not an issue of one country or another country. It is now a global issue...There is a gap in this globe, and it is an event that has created a permanent fracture...How does the globe come back together with its information technologies, with its knowledge? It can only come through memory and remembrance of what this event means."
Following a multi-year process, the Plenary decided in The Hague in December 2011 to adopt the new visual identity designed by Daniel Libeskind. The new visual identity reflects the continued commitment of the organization to the Stockholm Declaration. Experts and government leaders from 31 countries around the world are brought together to address Holocaust education, research, and commemoration. All member countries have a continued commitment to the Stockholm Declaration and to international Holocaust remembrance.