Speech by Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Ministerial Conference on Brussels on 19 January 2020.
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When Finland joined the IHRA in 2010, it made a conscious decision to join an international coalition for remembrance, education, and tolerance - and against distortion, ignorance, and hatred. This decision is more relevant today than ever.
The IHRA has become indispensable.
Finland has consistently promoted the implementation of fundamental rights in Europe. It means safeguarding the inherent right to life and safety.
We must provide equal protection to all regardless of ethnic origin or religious affiliation. In the current circumstances, special emphasis on the menace of antisemitism is warranted.
Antisemitism is the oldest hate crime in Europe and a permanent stain in our continent’s history.
It is completely unacceptable that Jews have to fear for their life in Europe in 2020.
Antisemitism is rampant at both extremes of the political spectrum. It has to do with the new media environment dominated by the social media and hate speech.
Antisemitism is just one product of online hate speech.
The internet is a perfect breeding ground for age-old antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Racist hate speech is becoming normalized. We all need to step up our efforts against it.
I understand the upcoming German Presidency has set antisemitism as one its priorities. We should all find ways to deal with online antisemitism.
The European Union can fight antisemitism in many ways and it has already begun to do so.
The EU should boldly consider adopting a horizontal European to-do list on antisemitism. In that work, we can rely on the groundbreaking work already carried out by the IHRA.