Foreign Ministry submits Holocaust education bill to UNESCO

According to the ministry, 70 countries, ncluding one Arab state, support the bill.

By MARISSA LEVY
October 16, 2007 21:30
1 minute read.
Foreign Ministry submits Holocaust education bill to UNESCO

holocaust 224. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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More than 60 years after the Holocaust, the Foreign Ministry is working to keep the Nazi genocide at the forefront of international consciousness. The ministry submitted a resolution to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization this week calling for the creation of a UNESCO-sponsored curriculum to teach students around the world about the Holocaust and its role in history. The Holocaust Remembrance resolution, proposed by the ministry's Division of International Organizations, aims to preserve the memory of the Holocaust while preventing its denial. "There's a need for UNESCO, as the main organ of education at the United Nations, to be active in commemorating the Holocaust," said division head Orli Gil. "It's not just about memorials and ceremonies. [UNESCO] will take it further, to schools and research institutions around the world." UNESCO will vote on the draft resolution at its 34th General Conference, which started Tuesday and runs through November 3. According to the ministry, 70 countries from every continent, including one Arab state, support the bill. "Despite the advent of a new Holocaust denier, in the form of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the ministry has registered a unique diplomatic achievement prior to the opening of the UNESCO General Conference expected to adopt the resolution," the ministry said in a statement. Gil said the ministry expected the initiative to be ratified by the end of the month. The Holocaust Remembrance resolution is part of an ongoing campaign by the ministry to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive through association with the UN and its multilateral institutions. In 2005, the UN established International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. In 2006, the international body passed a resolution condemning Holocaust denial. "With time, the living witnesses to the Holocaust will disappear, and we need to have a very strong notion of the Holocaust, especially among the different nations who do not know much about it," Gil said. "We wish to have Holocaust awareness as widespread as possible."

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