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A Message from RWCHR International Chair Irwin Cotler

The Malmö Conference on Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism-which brought together government leaders from over fifty countries and intergovernmental organizations-and commemorated the Stockholm Declaration on the Holocaust- was as inspiring as it was timely. In particular, the “Country Pledges” by participating countries are an Agenda for Global Action, just as Canada’s “Country Pledges” constitute a National Action Plan for Holocaust Remembrance and the combatting of hatred and antisemitism.

It will now be followed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Plenary Conference in Thessaloniki, beginning on November 7, where I am pleased to head an excellent Canadian delegation; and where, appropriately enough, Sweden will be assuming the Presidency of IHRA for 2022, the year in which “Country Pledges” are to be acted upon.

I am pleased that one of Canada’s Country Pledges is to make the role of Special Envoy a permanent one-signifying the importance Canada attaches to these responsibilities-and providing dedicated resources for that purpose. While I will continue to serve as Special Envoy in a pro-bono capacity, I am delighted that the Special Envoy role, with its compelling mandates, will have a central place in Canada’s promotion and protection of democracy and human rights.


Irwin Cotler, International Chair of the RWCHR


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