13.02.2016 - ODG

UNESCO strengthens partnership with United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

On 11 February, the Director General emphasized the need to address the root causes of anti-semitism and countering the extremist narrative of hate during the visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), a strong partner of UNESCO in the field of education on the Holocaust and genocides.

Ms Bokova met with the Memorial Director Sara Bloomfield, the Vice Chairman of the memorial’s Council Allan Holt, the White House Jewish Community Liaison Matt Nosanchuk, representatives of the U.S. State Department and Jewish organizations, and members of the museum’s Memorial Council. 

During the meeting, she spoke about the programmes of UNESCO that advance the agenda of tolerance, diversity and cultural sensitivity. 

“Our work includes educating young people against hate speech and seeking out ways in which we can counter the radicalization of young people, especially online”.   

As the Director-General viewed the museum extensive exhibit on the Holocaust, her concern turned to extracting the lessons of this tragic history and the responsibility of the individual to fight for social inclusion and tolerance.

She thanked the Museum for the excellent and sustained cooperation with UNESCO, in particular for the recent launch of the UNESCO-USHMM Conference for  International Holocaust Education, which will gather every two years educators from all across the globe for training, and for the presentation at UNESCO of the USHMM’s exhibition State of Deception: the Power of Nazi propaganda. 

Ms Bloomfield underlined the central role played by UNESCO in disseminating information and knowledge about the history of the Holocaust worldwide and its important function as a catalyst for organizations committed to education and the prevention of genocide. 

Ms Bokova and Bloomfield also focused on the threat of antisemitism, including denial and relativization of the Holocaust, and how to fight against it through education, and discussed the initiatives taken by the Museum to alert about the danger of genocide and mass atrocities in the contemporary world, including in the context of ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

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