Task Force For International Cooperation On Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research

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Membership and Functioning

Membership and Application Procedure

The Task Force consists of representatives of governments. Delegations are chaired by ambassadors or officials of a senior rank. Non-Governmental Organisations are part of the delegations and nominated by them, serving as their experts.

  • The ITF welcomes new member states, on the basis of their adherence to the Stockholm Declaration on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research of January 28, 2000.

    Acceptance into the ITF is a process, and these are its stages:

    • When a government of any UN member country expresses an interest in working with and/or within the ITF, it will submit an official letter of application, signed by a senior governmental representative (usually either the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Minister of Education). It will then be accepted as an Observer Country, subject to approval by the Plenary, and will participate as such in the Working Groups and the Plenary.
    • The ITF will only accept countries commonly seen as democracies (i.e. not countries with authoritarian, dictatorial, or totalitarian regimes) to full membership. However, other countries may be encouraged to develop projects in cooperation with the ITF, or agree to such projects with local NGOs.
    • When an interested government expresses its wish to advance its status beyond that of an Observer, it applies for its country to become a Liaison Country. To that effect, the interested government must submit the completed Liaison Projects - Baseline Study form to the Chair of the Task Force. The Liaison Projects - Baseline Study is circulated to the members of the Task Force over the general listserv at least 60 days before the plenary meeting at which the interested government seeks admission as a Liaison. The new Liaison Country will designate one or more ITF countries with experience in ITF work to establish liaison programs with the new candidate, provided the "lead" country or countries agree(s), and subject to approval by the Plenary. The minimum mandatory period for liaison status is one year.
    • Liaison programs will include, as a minimum, two multilateral (i.e. involving more than one ITF member country) in depth teacher-training courses, with government commitment. As is customary with ITF projects organized by the Education Working Group, observers from ITF countries will attend, and evaluations of the seminars will be made to the Education Working Group, which in turn will report to the Chair. The seminars will be concentrated around a core of Holocaust topics.
    • A Holocaust Memorial Day (on January 27, or another date chosen by the applicant country), will be established.
    • The government of the candidate country should demonstrate clear public policy commitment to Holocaust education at a senior political level. This will mean appropriate involvement of relevant government departments.
    • The Chair will visit the candidate country at least once during its period of candidacy, and will receive copies of relevant correspondence of the different Working Groups with the relevant institutions of the candidate country. The Chair may disseminate reports about the activities in the candidate country over the general ITF listserv.
    • The new applicant country will satisfy the ITF that its archives dealing with the Holocaust period (1933-1950) are open for research, and that there is or will be academic, educational, and public examination of the country's historical past as related to the Holocaust period.
    • The applicant country will commit itself to pay a yearly contribution to the ITF Fund of EUR 30,000.
    • The applicant country will endorse the previous decisions of the ITF.
    • The applicant country will commit itself to contribute to the operational activities of the Task Force.
    • The applicant country will commit itself to the ITF's four Working Groups, sending two delegates to the Education Working Group, one to the Academic Working Group, one to the Memorials and Museums Working Group, and one to the Communication Working Group.
    • Upon fulfillment of these conditions, the government of the candidate country will submit the completed Membership Application - Baseline Study form, at least 4 months before the Plenary at which it seeks admission. The Chair will designate a subcommittee of three member states, each of whom will be represented by a governmental delegate and by an NGO member (i.e. - six persons), who will review the application in depth. The subcommittee will invite and take into account comments by other delegations.
  • The following procedures will be adhered to with every future application:

    • There will be a formal presentation of up to 20 minutes by the delegation of the applying government in the Plenary at which admission is sought.
    • Up to 45 minutes will be set aside for questions and/or comments of concern, and answers to these by the applying delegation.
    • Up to 45 minutes will be devoted to internal discussion by ITF members, with the applicant delegation absent. Consensus on the application between the ITF delegations will be sought. If no consensus is reached, or if the consensus is negative regarding the application, the applying government will be so informed immediately, and may be offered a continuation of the liaison relationship.
    • Once a government/country is accepted, it immediately becomes an equal partner in all ITF bodies and Working Groups (except for the SIWG which is composed of past Chair countries).
  • General Functioning of the Task Force

    • The chairmanship rotates on a voluntary basis once a year.
    • The Task Force should hold one or two plenary sessions a year.
    • Task Force policy decisions are taken in plenary by consensus of member countries or following the procedures set out below.
    • Working groups will submit recommendations to the chair for Task Force decision. The chair will circulate such recommendations to all members and consensus will be assumed if no objection has been received within 30 days. In the absence of such consensus, the Task Force Chair will appoint a subcommittee, usually of three delegations, to try and arrive at an agreed proposal. If no such agreement can be reached, the proposal is withdrawn; however, it can be resubmitted at a later stage.
    • Decisions on the establishment of the working groups are made in the plenary. Chairs of the working groups are elected by the groups, and approved by the plenary.
    • All member countries should be represented in each working group. Member countries must therefore accept the results of the group's previous work.
    • Working groups will report on their work to the plenary.


The Task Force has the following working groups. The list is open to future additional working groups.

  • Academic Working Group
  • Education Working Group
  • Communication Working Group
  • Museums and Memorials Working Group
  • Budget Committee
  • Special Working Group on Implementation of Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • Strategic and Implementation Working Group (current and past Chairs, Academic Advisor, Working Group Chairs)
  • Liaison Country Working Groups (for candidate countries)

Observer Country:
Country having officially declared its intention to join the Task Force (item 1 Membership and Application Procedure).

Liaison Country:
Former Observer Country in the process of becoming a Member Country (item 3 Membership and Application Procedure).

Member Country:
Country accepted as a member following the Membership and Application Procedure described above.

Special Guest:
Country or NGO temporarily invited by the Chair of the Task Force to participate in the meetings.

Permanent Observers:
International Organizations with the status of observers. They can actively participate in the meetings of the working groups.

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