- Title: BELGIUM: OSCE ANTI-RACISM CONFERENCE OPENS IN BRUSSELS.
- Date: 13th September 2004
- Summary: (W5) BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (SEPTEMBER 13, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. GV/CU: EXTERIOR OF BUILDING WHERE OSCE CONFERENCE WAS HELD, CLOSE OF SIGN (2 SHOTS) 0.10 3. MV/CU: BELGIAN CROWN PRINCE PHILIPPE AND PRINCE HASSAN OF JORDAN ARRIVING AT THE CONFERENCE (2 SHOTS) 0.30 4. MCU: CAMERAMAN SHOOTING THE SCENE 0.32 5. MV/CU: PHOTOCALL WITH FROM LEFT TO RIGHT BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SOLOMON PASSY, ACTING AS PRESIDENT OF THE OSCE, BELGIAN CROWN PRINCE PHILIPPE, JORDAN PRINCE HASSAN AND BELGIAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS KAREL DE GUCHT (2 SHOTS) 0.51 6. GV: PROMINENT FIGURES TAKING THEIR PLACES ON PODIUM 0.57 7. MCU: HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW I 1.05 8. GV: PARTICIPANTS OF THE OSCE CONFERENCE LISTENING 1.12 9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRINCE HASSAN OF JORDAN SAYING: "It is only when we provide the necessary support for initiatives that promote mutual respect between Jews, Christians and Muslims and in particular after the 9-11 attacks, in dialogues between the Islam and the West, and Islam and the United States that we can embark on a honest journey towards crisis avoidance." 1.58 10. GV: AUDIENCE LISTENING TO KEYNOTE ADDRESSES 2.02 11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OSCE CHAIRMAN, BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SOLOMON PASSY SAYING: "We are raising the public opinion after what happened recently in North Ossetia and in Indonesia. We shall have to underline that we shall not tolerate intolerance and, moreover, terrorism, which is the extreme form of intolerance, should be the main target of our gatherings." 2.27 12. (SOUNDBITE) (French) PINHAS KORNFELD OF THE "FORUM VOOR JOODSE ORGANISATIES" (BELGIAN FORUM OF JEWISH ORGANISATIONS): "We have had peace for 60 years now after World War II. Because of all the problems in the Middle East and the importation of the problems over here, we are stigmatised. We can feel the hate feelings against Jews. There are also more and more attacks in France, but also in Belgium. I want to stress that these do not come from all the muslims, but from a very small minority of them, we can't globalise here. We are faced with youngsters who are stirred up by media reports and television and we are suffering from that." 3.20 13. GV: OSCE CONFERENCE ON COMBATTING RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION 3.25 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 28th September 2004 13:00
- Location: BRUSSELS,BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Reuters ID: LVA52DM46GPJSDRW0KFZ7BYHDCEZ
- Story Text: OSCE anti-racism conference with special focus on
rising anti-Semetism in Europe.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in
Europe (OSCE) on Monday (September 13) opened a conference
on racism, xenophobia, discrimination and anti-Semitism.
The conference stresses that intolerance leads to
violence and terrorism.
International experts and representatives from
governments, institutions and non-governmental
organizations are among the more than 700 expected
Workshops will deal with legislative and institutional
mechanisms, the role of governments and civil society,
discrimination against migrant workers, and ways to promote
tolerance and respect for diversity through education and
Prince Hassan of Jordan, His Holiness Patriarch
Bartholomew I and the Belgian Crown Prince Philippe came to
the opening of the conference. Their keynote addresses
underlined the need for measures to combat rampant racism
and intolerance in a world that has been thoroughly changed
by the 9-11 attacks. They also made calls for dialogue
between the Muslim World and the West, or even trialogues
between Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Prince Hassan of Jordan said: "It is only when we
provide the necessary support for initiatives that promote
mutual respect between Jews, Christians and Muslims and in
particular after the 9-11 attacks, in dialogues between the
Islam and the West, and Islam and the United States that we
can embark on a honest journey towards crisis avoidance."
OSCE chairman Solomon Passy, the Bulgarian minister
for foreign affairs, explained that the role of the
conference is to raise public awareness of the growing
problem of racism and discrimination. No hard decisions
will be taken but various work groups will explore new ways
to promote tolerance.
"We shall have to underline that we shall not tolerate
intolerance and, moreover, terrorism, which is the extreme
form of intolerance, should be the main target of our
gatherings", Passy said.
The OSCE's starting point for organising the Conference is
the fact that discrimination and racism, the rejection of
members of other cultures leads to violence and terrorist
Security can partly be implemented by promoting a
tolerant society. Several tools are in the hands of
governments, non-governmental organisations and religious
groups to combat racism and discrimination.
Governmental action is required both at national and
local levels, as efforts must be taken to ensure that
policies and laws are not discriminatory and do not foster
intolerance. It is equally imperative to collect and keep
records on reliable information and statistics on hate
crimes and hate speeches, including forms of violent
manifestations of racism, xenophobia, discrimination and
Another tool would be to put mechanisms in place that
foster dialogue and private partnerships towards tolerance,
respect and mutual understanding in our societies.
A last but very important tool to promote respect for
diversity and non-discrimination through Education and
Media, particularly among the younger generation. The
formal education system and the media, including the
Internet, both have an enormous role to play. Furthermore,
education systems have the opportunity and the
responsibility to address specific national or local
manifestations of racism, xenophobia or discrimination -
whether historical or current - and to combat prejudice and
negative stereotypes. The media, like education systems,
have the opportunity to tackle prejudice and eliminate
ignorance and misunderstanding, both through specific
educational and awareness-raising campaigns aimed at young
people, and also by leading by example, for instance in
taking care to reflect the ethnic, linguistic, cultural and
religious diversity of society in their output, and
providing access to diverse and contrasting points of view.
However, they also have the potential to exacerbate
problems - to stimulate suspicion, stir up fear and
perpetuate negative stereotypes.
As Pinhas Kornfeld of the "Forum voor Joodse
Organisaties" (Belgian Forum of Jewish Organisations) puts
"We have had peace for 60 years since the end of the
Second World War. And since we have had these problems in
the Mideast and they have been imported here we are
stigmatised, we feel a certain hatred against Jews, and
attacks against Jews, particularly in France, also in
Belgium, not only, I wish to stress, from Muslims - not all
Muslims, a small minority. One cannot globilise the
problem, but there are definitely young people who have
been stoked up and supported by the press, media,
television etc. and we are suffering because of it."
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