On July 21st, 2010, a cooperation agreement between the ITF (Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research) and the ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) was signed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, in the presence of Deputy FM Daniel Ayalon.
The ODIHR has 57 members and is an operative branch of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) that deals with educational programs and follows up on instances of xenophobic, primarily anti-Semitic, hatred.
The ITF counts 27 states among its members, mostly European. It was founded ten years ago at the initiative of the Swedish government with the primary purpose of preserving Holocaust remembrance through education, research and memorial sites.
This year, Israel was chosen for the first time to head the ITF. Former Knesset Speaker. Mr. Dan Tichon will serve as the chairman and Ambassador Yakov Rozen as the political coordinator.
Tichon and ODIHR Director Janez Lenarcic – a former senior diplomat who has also served as an advisor to the prime minister of Slovenia – signed the memorandum of understanding on Monday; and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon welcomed the signing of the agreement, saying it would give an enormous boost to the fight against the de-legitimization of Israel. "There are elements that deny the Holocaust and are preparing the next one," he said. "We must preserve the memory of the Holocaust so that similar horrors and hatred will never be repeated and the world will become a safer place."
The new agreement is expected to boost the battle against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in the global arena, bringing about cooperation between the members of both organizations – 87 countries in all.
Thus, the ODIHR joins six other organizations associated with the Task Force whose representatives serve as observers: the UN, DPI, UNESCO, the EU, FRA, and the European Council.