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You are here : Home > News > Speeches > June 2005 > OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism and other forms of Intolerance – Cordoba, 8-9 June 2005: European Union Declaration – Closing Session
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OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism and other forms of Intolerance – Cordoba, 8-9 June 2005: European Union Declaration – Closing Session

Date of Speech : 09-06-2005

Place : Cordoba, Spain

Speaker : Jacques Reuter, permanent representative of Luxembourg at the OSCE

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

At the end of this conference, I would like first of all to express my gratitude to our Spanish hosts for the excellent manner in which they have organised this event. I would also like to express my admiration for the quality of the discussion and the exceptional efforts made by the participants of this conference devoted to anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance. Also worthy of recognition is the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE, Dr. Dimitrij Rupel, along with his colleagues, for the political attention brought to all the issues linked to racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and discrimination – particularly as regards the integration of legal migrant workers.

This conference has lived up to its promise. For us, it constitutes a significant step and will, I am sure, contribute to confirming the determination of all OSCE Member States to bolster their shared initiatives against all forms of intolerance. This political message must be constantly repeated so that it will be heard by the citizens of all Member States, the various public services concerned, as well as all parties involved in civil society. From this point of view, the Cordoba Conference has tackled the most serious extent of the subject. We have been reminded that all forms of racism and intolerance must be fought with equal determination, and also that the success of this campaign has to take into account the historic and cultural circumstances under which the wide variety of forms this scourge on our society has been present.

The European Union fully subscribes to the Declaration of Cordoba. It is now up to us to implement it through what we do every single day.

The fight against intolerance is a major security concern. All OSCE bodies must therefore be involved in this fight – particularly so in operations on the ground the OSCE field missions, which should be ready to bolster their assistance to their host country.

Mr President,

In 2004, the OSCE acquired new instruments aimed at implementing the firmer political commitments taken in Maastricht and Sofia. Significant initiatives have already been undertaken. We have to support them and develop them.

The European Union has to signal its appreciation for the role carried out by the three personal representatives of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office as part of the overall fight of the OSCE in combating discrimination and promoting tolerance.. We hope they can fully act out their respective roles and we are determined to bring them our support as they carry out their duties. The European Union is convinced that a coordinated and integrated approach on the initiatives of the three personal representatives is necessary for the effective implementation of all commitments in the field of tolerance and non-discrimination. The European Union stresses the importance of close collaboration between the three personal representatives and the ODIHR.

The European Union is renewing its support for the actions brought about by the ODIHR, particularly with a view to assisting the participating states to move forward with the methods of collecting statistics on hate crimes and of monitoring racist and anti-Semitic incidents. We encourage the ODIHR to develop its activities relating to education about the Holocaust. We appreciate the progress made on the project to promote national training courses for police investigators on hate crimes. It is essential that we support the NGOs tackling racism and anti-Semitism, and that we send out a message of tolerance in order to enable cooperation between these NGOs and to implement methods for interaction with the relevant Government departments. This is particularly true in the fight against incitement to hatred, against which we must maintain full vigilance.

Since its inception, the "Tolerance and Non-Discrimination" unit of the ODIHR has made efforts to establish partnership links with the main international and regional organisations concerned. We would like to see these partnerships developed and deepened – particularly with the United Nations, the Council of Europe and, naturally, with our own Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia. The Monitoring Centre is perfectly positioned to support the work of the ODIHR, particularly as regards the methods of collecting data.

Mr President,

Each participating state should implement our shared commitments in the fight against intolerance and discrimination by, if necessary, adapting its legal framework and by creating data collection methods for information about hate crime, by creating suitable training courses for the civil servants concerned, and also by developing effective methods for assisting victims, while strengthening prevention and education in school and in the media, including on the Internet.

Tolerance is everybody's business: it concerns every single citizen. It is this message of liberty, responsibility and solidarity that the European Union would like to address to all the participants in this conference and to all the States represented at it. We hope this Conference will enable us to strengthen the OSCE's cooperation with Mediterranean partners, with whom we are united by strong historic links.

This is the message we want to take away from Cordoba – a message of hope and trust based on tolerance and respect for every individual.

The Acceeding Countries Bulgaria and Romania and the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia1 align themselves with this statement.

1Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

This page was last modified on : 14-06-2005

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