Government appoints Holocaust envoy

PA, 9 June 2010

A former UK ambassador to Israel has been named the Government's first ever envoy for post-Holocaust issues.

Announcing the appointment of Sir Andrew Burns, Foreign Secretary William Hague said that part of the envoy's job would be to "make sure that the lessons of this terrible period in our history are never forgotten".

Sir Andrew will drive forward implementation of the 2009 Terezin Declaration on the restitution of looted Holocaust-era assets and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of education, remembrance and research on the massacre of Jews and others by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Mr Hague said: "The UK is determined to preserve the memory of the Holocaust for future generations.

"Sir Andrew's appointment will ensure that we continue to support those working to right past wrongs and remain at the forefront of international discussions, to make sure that the lessons of this terrible period in our history are never forgotten.

"As a former UK ambassador to Israel and chairman of the Anglo-Israel Association, Sir Andrew's wealth of experience means he is ideally placed to tackle the challenges this post presents."

Sir Andrew said: "I am deeply honoured by the confidence the Government places in me to develop and drive forward policy on such a wide range of post-Holocaust issues.

"The UK already plays a leading and active role in promoting Holocaust education, remembrance and research, in tackling and resolving outstanding issues and claims, and in raising public awareness of the continuing relevance of the lessons and legacy of that terrible moment in European history.

"I shall make it an early priority to talk to a broad range of experts and others with an interest in or knowledge of post-Holocaust subjects, in Whitehall and Parliament and in the wider community, in order to understand as well as I can the scope and substance of the issues involved and develop a properly co-ordinated and strategic way forward in international discussions." · 76 Gloucester Place · London WIU 6HJ · +44 (0)20 7487 3401
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