Toronto (November 25, 2020) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is thrilled to learn that the Government of Canada has named Irwin Cotler, an internationally respected human rights advocate and founder and chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, as Canada’s first-ever Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism.
According to a press release from the Office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Cotler will lead the Government of Canada’s delegation to the IHRA, working “with other member countries and both domestic and international partners to strengthen and promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research in Canada and around the world.”
Cotler will also support advocacy and outreach efforts to advance the implementation of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism throughout Canada and internationally.
“At a time of rising antisemitism and dwindling awareness of the Holocaust, this initiative is more important than ever. It’s critical that Special Envoy Cotler will have a mandate that includes responsibility for advancing the implementation and adoption of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism in institutions across Canada and internationally, including at the United Nations and other international fora,” said Michael Levitt, FSWC president and CEO. “We thank the Canadian government for its commitment to advance Holocaust education and combat rising antisemitism, and we congratulate Irwin Cotler on this tremendously important new role.”