The MFA has presented UNESCO with a draft resolution for the preservation of the memory of the Holocaust and prevention of its denial. 70 states, including one Arab state have requested to be added as supporters of the resolution.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated an Israeli draft resolution regarding Holocaust remembrance, which was presented for the first time this week to UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The historic draft resolution, concerned with preservation of the memory of the Holocaust and prevention of its denial, is part of a campaign conducted for the past three years by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in conjunction with international communities in general and with the United Nations and its various institutions in particular.

The MFA has managed to harness 70 countries from all continents to the initiative, including one Arab state. Voting on the resolution will take place at the 34th session of the UNESCO General Conference, to be held in Paris from 16 October to 3 November 2007.

Background and details:

The MFA continues to lead a campaign of Holocaust remembrance and the struggle against Holocaust denial at the UN and its institutions. This week a resolution entitled "Holocaust Remembrance" was presented to the UNESCO secretariat.

The resolution, which was drafted by the MFA’s Division for International Organizations and the United Nations, begins by reminding the many who are trying to cause to forget, that during the Holocaust one third of the Jewish people was annihilated, and that UNESCO, created in the aftermath of that terrible war, is responsible for the creation of educational programs that will safeguard against incitement of hatred and racism, and create increased awareness of Holocaust denial.

Despite the advent of a new Holocaust denier, in the form of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the MFA has registered a unique diplomatic achievement prior to the opening of the UNESCO General Conference expected to adopt the resolution, whereby 70 states, including one Arab state, have taken a position even more obligatory than that of a vote and have requested to be added as supporters of the resolution before the actual voting takes place.

The resolution was presented for voting by the USA, Israel, Russia, Australia and Canada, and the voting on the resolution will take place during the 34th session of the UNESCO General Conference.

During 2005 and 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted two resolutions entitled "Holocaust Remembrance" and "Holocaust Denial". The UN also declared the 27th of January as International Holocaust Memorial Day, recognized the uniqueness of the Holocaust, and unequivocally and unambiguously rejected any attempt to deny the Holocaust’s existence. As a result of these resolutions, the UN Secretary-General initiated a Holocaust education program.

The current resolution is aimed at increasing the efforts to widen and deepen Holocaust education programs and to expose these programs to new international audiences, from schoolchildren and up to the academic research level.