| 13 Sep 2018

Statement at HDIM Working Session 6 on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination

Delivered by Ambassador Aud Marit Wiig, Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM), Warsaw, 13 September 2018

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Today, I want to touch on only a few of the topics of this working session with the following recommendations:

  • for participating States to monitor intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, including anti-semitic, anti-islamic, and all other discriminatory attitudes closely, and, when publicly expressed, to address them firmly in accordance with OSCE and other international human rights commitments, and
  • in adopting strategies to combat intolerance and discrimination, hate speech and other forms of harassment, to draw on ODIHR’s expertise and include measures to train law enforcement, prosecution, and the judiciary in rightscompliant responses to hate crime.

Our region has seen recurring incidents of hate speech, of harassment of Jews and Jewish property, and of neo-Nazis marching our streets. As history has demonstrated, we must not allow these forces of intolerance and discrimination to define our societies.

Norway has an Action Plan that sets out our strategy against anti-Semitism. Several ministries and government agencies work together in implementing the action plan with a particular emphasis on prevention and education. Surveys show a decrease of this prejudice in Norway. Still, challenges remain.

The OSCE has an important part to play in confronting intolerance and discrimination internationally. Its executive structures can assist participating States. Particularly relevant are the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, through its work on tolerance and non-discrimination, and the Representative on the Freedom of the Media, in his efforts to counter hate speech in the media, and the field operations incooperation with their host countries.

Nonetheless, the responsibility to prevent and counter intolerance and discrimination remains with the participating States. To free our region from intolerance and discrimination and its manifestations, vigilance must remain the watchword of us all.

Thank you

 

HDIM Working Session 6