12.09.2017 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

Education on the Holocaust and genocide: Buenos Aires hosts UNESCO regional meeting

  • The meeting will be opened by Karel Fracapane, UNESCO’s programme specialist; Max Gulmanelli, Secretary of Educational Management at the Ministry of Education and Sports of Argentina; and Francisco Miguens, Secretary of the National Commission of Argentina for Cooperation with UNESCO.

UNESCO’s Latin American Network for Education on the Holocaust and Other Genocides will meet for the 4th time on 13 September 2017 in Argentina’s capital to review initiatives that countries of the Network are implementing in the region. Senior representatives of the ministries of education of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay and Uruguay will be in attendance.

The meeting of this UNESCO Network is taking place thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Education and Sports of Argentina and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France. It will include presentations on new initiatives to promote education on the Holocaust, genocide and other atrocity crimes, and will serve to launch the Spanish-language versions of UNESCO’s most recent publications on the topic: Education on the Holocaust and the prevention of genocide. A policy guide (2017) and La enseñanza del Holocausto en América Latina. Los desafíos para los educadores y legisladores (Teaching about the Holocaust in Latin America: Challenges for Educators and policy-makers, 2017). These two new tools are destined to education policy makers who wish to initiate or reinforce education on the Holocaust and, more broadly, the history of genocides and atrocity crimes.

Karel Fracapane, UNESCO’s programme specialist on Holocaust and genocide issues, explained the importance of having the materials available in Spanish and of developing further this education in the Latin America region: “No society is immune from racism, antisemitism, and other forms of intolerance that lead to demonize the other and, in some cases, to group-targeted violence. UNESCO's goal is reinforce education about the history of genocide, notably the Holocaust, to raise awareness about how hatred can come to permeate a society, how to deal with traumatic pasts through education and to help educate young people about the dangers of violent extremist ideologies," he said.

During the event in Argentina, participants will review national initiatives taken by ministries of education and discuss ongoing cooperation in the region with international stakeholders such as the UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education at the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, Yad Vashem, Yahad in Unum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Participants will also discuss regional projects in development. Yael Simán of Mexico will present the activities of Facing History and Ourselves in Latin America. Pamela Calderón will talk about the creation of the Museum of the Holocaust in Guatemala. Clara Ramírez Barat of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (United States of America) will present the research project “Education and Prevention,” which is being developed in Brazil and El Salvador.

The meeting will conclude with a review of the “roadmap” for the network, which was approved in 2014, and a discussion of future activities and priorities. Prior to that, Network members will have the opportunity to exchange with special guest Jennifer Ciardelli, the Director of Civic and Defense Initiatives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and President of the Education Working Group of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

An important part of the Buenos Aires meeting will also be dedicated to discussions about achievements and challenges of Argentina’s policies on addressing difficult pasts through education. In order to further explore this topic, the network meeting will be followed by a sub-regional seminar for education stakeholders from Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. This second event, which is being organized in partnership with UNESCO, will take place on September 14 and 15, 2017.

More information:

Karel Fracapane, k.fracapane(at)unesco.org

Press contact:
Carolina Jerez, c.jerez(at)unesco.org
Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago)

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