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OSCE to Hold Discussion on Combating Antisemitism

OSCE to Hold Discussion on Combating Antisemitism

As part of the 2010 Review Conference in Warsaw from September 30 to October 8, the OSCE will look at the progress of its 56 participating States in implementing their OSCE commitments to human rights and democracy. Among the issues to be addressed will be prevention and response to hate crimes, and combating intolerance and discrimination.

The discussion on tolerance and non-discrimination will include review of the OSCE's commitment to acknowledge antisemitism as a major challenge to social cohesion and human rights among its member States. As briefed in the annotated agenda of the upcoming meeting:

"Participating States have repeatedly condemned intolerance, discrimination and hate crimes and pledged to take action against them. Today, there are a broad range of commitments to combat intolerance and discrimination and promote mutual respect and understanding, including to prevent and respond to hate crimes. The OSCE commitments acknowledge that racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, discrimination and intolerance, including against Muslims, Christians, Jews is a major challenge to social cohesion and human rights across the OSCE region. The OSCE Ministerial Council decisions include commitments to take positive steps such as awareness-raising, developing educational tools, encouraging the establishment of national institutions and specialized bodies, and cooperating with civil society. In 2009, the OSCE Ministerial Council adopted its first decision specifically devoted to the problem of hate crimes, stressing the need to review legislation, to assist civil society efforts, to collect reliable data, and to train police to respond to hate crimes.

The aim of this session is to review the implementation of OSCE commitments related to tolerance and non-discrimination, by examining challenges, good practices and lessons learned in this area. In particular, the measures taken to prevent and respond to hate crimes, including strengthening hate crime legislation, data collection, training of law enforcement officers and co-operation with non-governmental organizations, will be assessed. A forward-looking approach will be adopted in order to discuss how the existing frameworks, approaches and mechanisms of participating States can be improved in order to more effectively combat violent manifestations of intolerance and discrimination."

The discussion will take place during Working Session 8 of the conference, on October 6 between 15:00-18:00. More information on the conference can be found here.