On 26 March, the Farnesina hosted the presentation of the programme of the 2018 Italian Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an intergovernmental organisation that coordinates and promotes the commitment of its Member Countries towards the protection and the transmission of the memory of the Shoah, especially by promoting historical research, the preservation of testimonies and sites and the education of new generations. Italy officially took over the Chairmanship last 6 March in a ceremony held at the Italian Embassy in Berlin, the city that hosts the Organisation’s Executive Secretariat. The presentation, which was attended by the representatives of IHRA Member and Observer Countries, included speeches by Ambassador Sandro De Bernardin, Head of the Italian Delegation at the IHRA, Mr Giuseppe Pierro, a senior officer at the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and the Deputy Head of the Italian Delegation and Counsellor Michela Carboniero, Head of the Human Rights Office at the MAECI and member of the Italian Delegation at the IHRA.
In his speech, Ambassador De Bernardin presented the work programme of the Italian Chairmanship, outlining its three key goals: fulfilling institutional responsibilities, starting with the organisation of two Plenary Assemblies (the first in Rome from 28 to 31 May and the second in Ferrara, from 27 to 29 November 2018) and completing the work initiated by the two previous Chairmanships on the “new IHRA strategy” (aimed at rationalising the Organisation’s activities and structure); enhancing the awareness and visibility of the IHRA among policymakers and the wider public (especially through the organisation of two international conferences, respectively on 27 May in Rome, on the theme of racial laws, and on 16 November in Milan, on incitement to hatred); producing new material to be distributed in Italian schools, to facilitate and improve the quality of education on the Holocaust.
Mr Pierro presented the MIUR’s latest activities to combat antisemitism and to promote the memory of the Holocaust, which included publishing the national guidelines for teaching the Shoah that were distributed to all schools, and cooperating with the Jewish communities. The meeting also screened the first official trailer of the animated documentary on Andra and Tatiana Bucci, two sisters who survived Auschwitz, co-produced by the MIUR and the Italian public broadcaster RAI, with the support of the Italian Delegation at the IHRA. The documentary will be screened in Italy in May.