Remembrance Forum – Forum de la Memoire – France

  • After several months of intensive research and multilevel contacts with leading experts, the French RBF association decided in 2012 to focus primarily on the terrible implications of the armed conflicts in Africa which can unfortunately turn out as mass murder conflicts and even as ethnic and religious genocides.
  • RBF France decided to organize several Events and Conferences about the nature and the implications of those bloody armed conflicts in Africa in 2012 with a special focus on the Darfur and Rwanda genocides.
  • RBF France organized a first roundtable discussion at the French Senate on the 18th of December 2012 on: “Crossed views on Terrorism and Extremist Threats: Mali, the new battle against Radical Islam” with Top Experts like the famous Former Judge Jean Louis Bruguiere, who was the Leading French Magistrate in charge of Counter- Terrorism Affairs and like Alain Bauer, an eminent Criminologist, Former Advisor on National Security Affairs of President Nicolas Sarkozy and one of the most interviewed expert on those issues by the French media.
  • This First Conference in Paris was attended by Leading French Policy makers and representatives of the French civil society and this event had a very important impact on Key French Policy and Opinion makers.
  • On the 12th of June 2013, the French association organized its Second Conference attended by some 150 participants and Parliamentarians about: “Darfur: Ten years After the Civil War, Tracking a Deafening Silent Genocide”. Amongst the speakers, we had Dr. Mukesh Kapila, Former Special UN Envoy to Darfur and Former coordinator of Humanitarian aid.
  • The Third Conference about “Preventing mass killings and Human rights violations in Africa” was organized a day after (13th of June 2013) at the French Foreign Affairs Ministry and hosted by the French Ambassador for Human Rights, Mr. Francois Zimeray.
  • Later on in December 2013, the French association organized 2 Conferences about the situation in Africa: “Mutations of a Continent, between risks and opportunities” and about the situation in Syria: “Geopolitical, Strategic and Diplomatic challenges in Syria”.
  • RBF France put a special focus on the organization of a Remembrance Mission to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Rwanda genocide.
  • In January 2014, the French association RBF France organized a special event to explain the situation of the Refugees in Darfur and in South Sudan and to support them.

  • Further on, also in January 2014, RBF France was the official partner of the 4th National Conference against Negationism at the ESG Management School in Paris.
  • More than 500 people attended this One Day Conference dedicated to the main topic: “20 Years Later, Addressing the Tutsi Genocide”.
  • Amongst the 20 High Level Speakers: Bernard Kouchner, Former French Minister of Foreign Affairs and Founder of the International NGO “Doctors without Borders”; the French philosopher Andre Glucksman and the Honorary President of the Belgian Senate, Ms. Anne Marie Lizin.
  • RBF France organized 11 filmed interviews with the Speakers. And this Conference received an important media coverage.
  • In February 2014, RBF France organized a Conference on the situation in the Republique Centrafrique: “From the political transition to the post-conflict reconstruction”.
  • From the 23rd until the 28th of April 2014, RBF France organized a very High Level Remembrance Mission to Rwanda in order to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Tutsi Genocide.
  • This Mission was attended by three leading Historians of Genocides: Raymond Kevorkian, Tal Bruttman and Michael Prazan, beside artists, intellectuals, Human rights activists and French Policy makers like MP Jean Marie Tetart, MP Seybah Dagona and Senators, Alain Fauconnier, Leila Aichi, Jean Marie Bockel and Sophie Joissains.
  • In June 2014, RBF France organized a very High level Conference at the French Senate on “Preventing Genocide and Mass crimes” and amongst the 17 Speakers, we had the Former French Minister of Defense, Francois Leotard and the Former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bernard Kouchner.
  • This Conference was live broadcasted in partnership with the magazines “l’Histoire”, “Jeune Afrique”, generated 35 Press releases and impacted some 25,000 people on social networks, on Facebook and Twitter.
  • On 27th of March 2014, RBF France initiated and supported a working meeting with the leadership of the PFD-Parliamentary Forum for Democracy at the European Parliament in Brussels in order to discuss possible partnership in promoting Democracy in the world.
  • In 2015 and 2016, additional working meetings were organized between RBF France and RBF Germany and the PFD – Parliamentary Forum for Democracy and follow up meetings regarding Genocide prevention with the different Civil Society Representatives and High level Policy makers who attended the RBF Conferences and the RBF raising awareness campaigns in the previous years.
  • Further to those meetings, RBF France organized 2 Conferences, and an awareness raising campaigns to alert the French civil society representatives and senior French Policy makers about the serious deterioration of Human and Civil Rights in Thailand under the military junta.
  • The first Conference on that topic was organized in Paris on the 6th of April 2016 and the leading experts were:
  • Professor Pavin Chachavalpongpun, former Thai diplomat and Researcher at the ASEAN Institue on South East Asia and Associate Professor of Southeast Asian studies at the Kyoto University in Japan.
  • Professor Eugenie Mereau, Lecturer on Political Sciences at the Thammasat University of Bangkok.
  • Frederic Grare, Director of Asia at the CAGS (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Many Journalists and representatives of the French civil society and Human Rights associations attended the Conference and reflected on the exchange of views.
  • The second Conference took place on the 1st of June 2016 and focused on an “Overview of the Human Rights situation and the challenges of the democratic transition”.
  • The experts commissioned were:
  • Olivier Guillard, Director of Strategic Observatory of Asia in France
  • Sunai Pashuk, Researcher at the Human Rights Watch, Asia Division, Bangkok
  • Jaran Ditapichai, Thai Human Rights activist in exile in France
  • RBF France helped the International March of the Living to organize on the 4th of May 2016, the “Double Entendre Nuremberg Symposium about the Nuremberg of Hate and the Nuremberg of Justice”, 80 years after the promulgation of the Nuremberg racial laws and 70 years of the Nuremberg Trials.
  • RBF France helped the March of the Living in proposing and coordinating several High levels speakers who attended the different panels:

Ministers of Justice Panel: The Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights: Universal Lessons for the Preventing and Combating of Mass Atrocity in Our Time

  • Moderator: The Honorable Irwin Cotler, Former Minister of Justice, Canada
  • Luis Moreno Ocampo, Former Prosecutor, International Criminal Court
  • The Honorable Ayelet Shaked, Minister of Justice, Israel
  • The Honourable Robert Badinter, former Minister of Justice, France

Supreme Court Justices’ Reflections Panel: Justice After Nuremberg: What Have We Learned?

  • Moderator: Professor Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law (Emeritus), Harvard Law School
  • The Honorable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, Supreme Court of Canada
  • The Honorable Justice Dorit Beinisch, Former President of The Supreme Court of Israel
  • The Honorable Lord John Dyson, Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice
  • The Honorable Chief Justice Sam Rugege, Chief Justice of Rwanda

Voices of The Next Generation:

  • Elisabeth Buettner, Polish Doctoral Student, Jagiellonian University
  • Brooke Goldstein, March of the Living Alumnus, Director of The Lawfare Project

Scholars Panel: Holocaust Remembrance, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Inversion

  • Professor Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law (Emeritus), Harvard Law School
  • Professor Michael Berenbaum, Director, Sigi Ziering Institute, American Jewish University
  • Ambassador Ron Prosor, Abba Eban Chair of International Diplomacy Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Israel
  • Moderator: Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

Video/Live Link Remarks on: History, Accountability & Responsibility

  • by Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat. Former US Ambassador to the European Union
  • RBF France also coordinated the drafting and the presentation of The Nuremberg Proclamation: Never Again which unanimously adopted at the Nuremberg symposium (see document attached)

  • Based on its successful activities of 2016, RBF France decided to focus in 2017 its activities and its efforts in initiating and developing pan European educational initiatives especially dedicated to the young generations and to their educators.
  • Therefore RBF France reached out, contacted and engaged relevant partners in Austria (MORAH association), Germany (RBF Germany association), Belgium (Tachkemoni association), Poland (the Linking Foundation) and in Hungary (MOTL Hungary association) in order to organize delegations of high schools students and their teachers to the March of the Living in April 2017.
  • In parallel, RBF France was in charge of the organization and the coordination of the very important delegation of European Education Ministers, Officials and Education Leaders who attended the March of the Living in 2017.
  • The European official delegation coordinated by RBF France and especially by its Vice-President Michel Gourary included Education Ministers and High-level governmental representatives from 9 EU Member states as well as the Director- General for Education and Culture at the European Commission, Martine Richerts, and Director-General for Democracy at the Council of Europe, Snežana Samardžić- Marković.
  • This European Official Delegation was also joined by the Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), Ambassador Benno Bättig, and the IHRA Executive Secretary, Dr Kathrin Meyer.
  • RBF France was also in charge of coordinating and implementing the program of the official delegations.
  • RBF France coordinated the working sessions and a symposium at the Oswieciem Center for Dialogue and Prayer addressed by Ministers of Education and EU Education High Officials.
  • RBF France also initiated the drafting of the Auschwitz Birkenau declaration here below:
  • RBF France also coordinated its endorsement and its proclamation at the main Remembrance Ceremony by the European Officials and the IHRA officials who attended the March of the Living.
  • Based on discussions and exchange of views of the participants, RBF France drafted the following recommendations which were submitted to EU Ministers of Education, the European Commission, IHRA and the Council of Europe :
  • Promoting and subsidizing more National delegations of students from European countries to the March of the Living – MOTL (in 2018, 2019 & 2020) and identifying existing budgets/financial resources for that purpose.
  • Promoting the involvement of MOTL Alumni in European activities.
  • Promoting and subsidizing a Special Mission of Educators (target number 250) of the EU to the March of the Living in 2018
  • Planning a special working meeting of all the Director Generals of the European Education Ministries under the DG Education of the EU Commission and the EYCS to discuss and gear up the implementation of a comprehensive Holocaust education action plan (to be planned under the UK Rotating Presidency July-December 2017)
  • Realization of a comprehensive survey of existing Holocaust education programs in schools, colleges and Universities of the 28 EU member states (by the EU Commission)
  • Launching the European March of the Living College & Universities Fellows program, to promote Holocaust/genocide studies courses at universities or colleges which do not currently offer such courses (based on the survey and according to the order of priority and the budgets available)
  • Identifying senior European experts in Holocaust studies and forming the European MOTL Experts Council/Advisory body to partner with the EU institutions , Council of Europe and IHRA in implementing our education action plan.
  • Establishing comprehensive database/online libraries of Holocaust survivors and Righteous among the Nations testimonies based in EU countries and by language.
  • Subsequently, RBF France reached out other organizations and partners from other EU Member states to promote the implementation of those recommendations.
  • In that respect, RBF France initiated and coordinated, in the second half of 2017, the establishment of the European March of the Living Network, the first of its kind pan European network linking and reaching out organizations and associations from the EU Member States to engage the young generations in being more pro-active to combat anti-Semitism, racism, racial bigotry and xenophobia.
  • Until the end of 2017, RBF France and its sisters’ associations in Germany and in Italy, managed to develop a very strong partnership with relevant partners in Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Greece, Netherlands and UK.
  • In 2018, RBF France signed on a 4 Year Framework agreement with the European Commission for the years 2018-2021 and will continue its efforts to expand and to reinforce this network in order to create a strong and dedicated community of concerned European citizens from different ages and different sectors of the civil society.

European delegation co-organized by RBF France at the March of the Living in 2017

RBF France involvement in the organization of the European Education Ministers, IHRA Officials and Education Leaders who attended the March of the Living in 2017 and who endorsed the proclamation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Declaration on combating Holocaust denial and combating Antisemitism

Return to Democracy in Thailand – Session II

Thailande: Le retour à la démocratie dans l’impasse? – 1/6/2016

Double Entendre of Nuremberg Symposium – 4/5/2016

Double Entendre Nuremberg Symposium about the Nuremberg of Hate and the Nuremberg of Justice – 80 years after the promulgation of the Nuremberg racial laws and 70 years after the Nuremberg trials – Symposium at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow – 4/52016

Return to Democracy in Thailand – Session I

La crise politico-institutionnelle en Thailande: Le retour à la Démocratie est-il possible? – 5/4/2016

Colloque sur le génocide au Rwanda

Rwanda – Réflexions sur le dernier génocide du XXème siècle – 30/6/2014

Addressing prevention of genocide – Lessons from the Genocide in Rwanda

Mission to Rwanda – Lessons  from the genocide  – 2014

The Darfur tragedy

Darfur: Giving the voice to the voiceless – 20/1/2014

La crise syrienne

Où va la Syrie? – Enjeux géopolitiques, stratégiques et diplomatiques – 18/12/2013

Les crises en Afrique

Regards croisés sur l’Afrique: les mutations d’un continent émergent entre risques et opportunités – Assemblée nationale – Paris – 11/12/2013

RBF France Conferences and Parliamentary hearings and workshops – 2012 – 2013

Récapitulatif des Conférences et sessions de travail parlementaires – Années 2012 et 2013

RBF France: 72 Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau – Paris