Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ welcome address to Thessaloniki Plenary

“Greece’s Presidency of the IHRA has by now reached its midway point.

Over the past months, we focused our efforts on assessing how to confront the resurgence of Antisemitism.

Unfortunately, Antisemitism feeds on ignorance, fear, feelings of impotence and conspiracy theories.

Even the most advanced and sophisticated societies remain vulnerable to these evils.

Hence, the “pandemic” of fake news, conspiracy theories and hate speech, are spreading on the Internet and Social Media.

We have an obligation to do our utmost to stop this new “pandemic”.

In the second half of the Greek Presidency, we shall focus on how to achieve this objective: How to fight Antisemitism in the digital arena.

In this context, the closing event of our Presidency will consist of a Conference on “Combating Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial and Distortion on the Digital Battlefield”. The Conference will be held in the city of Ioannina, home to one of the oldest Jewish Diaspora communities in the world.

Our aim will be to examine ways on how to use the digital environment, in order to keep the Holocaust narrative alive especially for the years to come.

We will be making good use of cutting-edge technology in the field of Artificial Intelligence and related fields.

The fine line separating freedom of speech and abuse of this freedom will be addressed by specialists in the field.

With these words, let me welcome you to the second Plenary under the Greek Presidency of IHRA.

Thank you.”