UNESCO joins pledges to strengthen global Holocaust education at Malmö International Forum

As we enter a new era of remembrance, in a world with ever fewer survivors of the Holocaust, UNESCO joined world leaders at the Malmö International Forum in Sweden on 13 October to renew its commitment to strengthening Holocaust remembrance and education while combatting antisemitism.

The Forum, convened by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden, brought together heads of state and government, international organizations and social media platforms to counter the rise of antisemitism online and defend the history of the Holocaust from attempts to deny and distort its fundamental facts.

UNESCO pledged to advance Holocaust education globally as a means to deal with violent pasts and contribute to the prevention of genocide. This includes expanding its international program with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that seeks to develop initiatives in countries around the world where Holocaust education has not yet been institutionalized.

UNESCO also pledged to strengthen its engagement to address the alarming rise of antisemitism, hate speech and other forms of intolerance and discrimination, and to provide schools and educators with the tools to tackle all forms of contemporary antisemitism, building on guidance and training developed jointly with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

In partnership with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), UNESCO also committed to countering rising Holocaust denial and distortion as virulent forms of contemporary antisemitism by developing resources and training to support educators, policy-makers, civil servants and journalists in addressing Holocaust distortion in their respective professional capacities.

The project will build on a joint United Nations and UNESCO study and educational resources that examine the manifestations of Holocaust distortion on social media, developed in partnership with the World Jewish Congress.

“Holocaust denial and distortion reflect a concerning global trend of rising discrimination and hate speech against Jewish communities and individuals that we must counter,” Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General of Education, said at the Forum.

“We must maximize the power of education to address antisemitism, by building the capacity of educators, school leaders and young people to recognize and respond to antisemitism, and by developing educational resources that explain the impact of antisemitism on Jewish communities.”