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IHRA Chair Country Visits


On 16 October Sir Andrew arrived in the Vatican, where he had meetings with the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Bishop Marcel Sanchez Sorondo and with the Deputy Secretary for States, Monsignor Antione Camilleri.

On 14 October, Sir Andrew arrived in Skopje. The visit included meetings with President Gjorge Ivanov, and later with Nikola Poposki, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and with Abdilakim Ademi, the Minister of Education. The following day, the IHRA Chair visited Holocaust memorials sites and a meeting was arranged with the President of the Jewish Community, Mrs. Berta Romano Nikolikj.

On 13 October Sir Andrew arrived in Ankara where he met with the Deputy Minister of National Education Mr. Orhan Erdem. In addition, meetings wiere held with Ambassador Tunç Üğdül (Director General on Research and Security) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with Deputy Undersecretary, Ambassador Ümit Yalçın.

On 10 October Sir Andrew arrived in Chisinau to follow up on a very successful previous IHRA visit which took place on 27 January 2014 within the framework of Holocaust Memorial Days initiative. The January visit was arranged in cooperation with ODHIR and involved a round-table organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the current visit, the IHRA Chair will meet with representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bureau for Inter-Ethnic Relations. It is hoped that these meetings will form the foundations for future cooperation.

9 October saw the arrival of Sir Andrew in Sofia where meetings were planned with Rumiyana Kolarova, the Minister of Education and Science, and with Daniel Mitov, Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as with Victor Stoyanov, the Deputy Minister of Culture.

On 8 October Sir Andrew arrived in Bucharest where he attended a commemorative event at the Holocaust Memorial and made the following address. He then had the opportunity to speak at a Parliamentary Session. His speech can be read here. In the afternoon, Sir Andrew attended the opening of the exhibition “Witnesses and Testimonies”, at the Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania. At the event, students from the annual art course organized by the Institute, exhibited their work which are around Holocaust survivors and perceptions about the Holocaust.

On 7 October Sir Andrew arrived in Athens where he met with the IHRA Delegation to Greece, members fo the Jewish Community and other religious communities, experts in the field as well as the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In the afternoon Sir Andrew met the Head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Public Administration, Public Order and Justice which deals with issues of racism and xenophobia.

The visits were part of a ten-day programme in which the IHRA Chair visited 8 countries.The first stop was Tirana on 6 October where Sir Andrew met with President Bujar Nishani.

The visit included both IHRA member countries and countries interested in becoming members of IHRA. Sir Andrew was accompanied on the visits by the Executive Secretary, Dr Kathrin Meyer, and they met with government officials, and NGOs and attended commemorative ceremonies.