The meeting will promote cooperation between UNESCO and Member States in the field of education on the history of genocide and mass atrocities, notably the Holocaust, with a view to introducing these issues in the curricula of countries in the region.
The consultation is a follow-up to the resolution 60/7 (2005) of the United Nations General Assembly on Holocaust remembrance, urging “Member States to develop programmes that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help prevent future acts of genocide”. For UNESCO, teaching the history of the genocide of the Jewish people and other crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime and its collaborators during the Second World War is an essential component of the promotion of peace and human rights. The consultation in the region will seek to raise awareness among the policy makers and education specialists on this history, and more generally the history of mass atrocities, with a view of developing relevant programmes at the national and regional levels.In this regard, Jorge Sequeira, Director of the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, explained that "This historical episode has universal significance, and can help students and the general public to engage in a critical reflection about the origins of genocide, and the need to promote peace and human rights, thereby preventing such atrocities from happening in the future”.
A similar initiative already took place in September 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa, with senior representatives of the Ministries of Education of African Member States. Karel Fracapane, UNESCO Focal Point for Holocaust education, explained that “exploring the history of the Holocaust can send a powerful warning and help comprehend better the roots of mass violence. In that regard, several Member States have chosen to tackle this subject as starting point to address issues of universal relevance, but also as a way to start addressing their own traumatic history.”
The consultation in Buenos Aires will gather representatives of Ministries of Education of several countries of the region, international experts in Holocaust and genocide studies, as well as representatives of the civil society involved in peace and human rights education. It aims at offering support to the Ministries of Education interested in introducing issues related to the Holocaust, genocide and peace education in their curriculum and at developing activities that will foster regional exchange and enable access to good practices on these subjects.