VIENNA, 25 October 2011 – An OSCE conference on confronting intolerance and discrimination against Muslims in public discourse will be held in Vienna on Friday, 28 October.
Conference participants will explore the role of the media and political leaders in promoting non-discrimination, discuss the impact of anti-Muslim public discourse on communities and society in general, as well as offer recommendations for participating States to prevent anti-Muslim statements and respond to them while respecting the right to free expression and media freedom. They will further identify practical measures for implementing OSCE commitments to combat racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and intolerance, as well as commitments related to preventing and responding to hate crime.
The meeting organized by Lithuania’s 2011 OSCE Chairmanship and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will gather high-level representatives of OSCE participating States, OSCE institutions, international organizations, media, non-governmental organizations and research institutions.
The opening session will feature the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims Adil Akhmetov; Secretary General for Foreign Affairs of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs Johannes Kyrle; Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Evaldas Ignatavičius; OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier; OSCE/ODIHR Director Janez Lenarčič; Special Adviser to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Ömür Orhun; and the Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions Matteo Mecacci.
Journalists are invited to attend the conference. The opening session will begin at 10:00 on Friday, 28 October, in the Neuer Saal of the Hofburg Congress Centre in Vienna. Journalists are kindly requested to register by sending an email to email@example.com by 27 October. Requests for interviews with conference participants can also be sent to this address.
The working languages of the meeting will be English and Russian.
More information about the event is available at http://www.osce.org/event/muslims_2011