Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has asked Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, former Treasury Deputy Secretary and former Department of State Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, to head the U.S. Delegation to the Holocaust Era Assets Conference, taking place in Prague June 26 – 30, 2009. Mr. Eizenstat also was the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union from 1993 to 1996. He brings extensive experience in negotiating Holocaust claims issues, which he undertook during the administration of President Clinton.
The Prague Conference, hosted by the Czech Republic, is a follow-up to the 1998 Holocaust Era Assets Conference that took place in Washington, D.C. in 1998. At that time, then Under Secretary Eizenstat organized and led the U.S.-hosted conference.
The United States regards the Prague Conference as the most important opportunity of the decade to address the wrongs committed during the Nazi era. Representatives of some 49 countries, most of which were affected by Nazi crimes during World War II, and nearly two dozen NGOs have been invited to attend. The Conference will focus on immovable (real) property, Nazi-looted art, Holocaust education and remembrance, archival access, and the recovery of Judaica. In addition, there will be a session on the social welfare needs of survivors of Nazi persecution, an issue of great importance to the United States.
Ambassador Eizenstat will work in close coordination with Ambassador J. Christian Kennedy, the Department of State’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues. Ambassador Kennedy heads the Office of Holocaust Issues in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
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