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 OSCE - Promoting tolerance & diversity - or respect !?
picture picture 21 Oct 2016 @ 07:05, by Heiner Benking

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.@GER_OSCE Conference in Berlin explores ways to promote tolerance & diversity, calls for joint action in @OSCE area []

BERLIN, 20 October 2016 – Over 350 representatives of OSCE participating States, Asian and Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation, and civil society from the entire OSCE region, as well as international and regional actors, met in Berlin today at the invitation of the German OSCE Chairmanship 2016 to discuss ways to promote diversity, non-discrimination and tolerance against the backdrop of growing intolerance in our societies.

In his opening speech, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “How to promote tolerance and diversity, but also how to handle growing intolerance, are questions that concern all of us in the OSCE area – from Vancouver to Berlin and further to Vladivostok.” Steinmeier stressed that both in our societies and in international affairs tolerance should not be misunderstood as mere endurance or disinterest. “We need to make a special effort to communicate with people whose opinions we do not share. As OSCE participating States, it is right to call for tolerance between us. But at the same time, we must not tolerate actions and attitudes that compromise our common principles and threaten our common order.” Steinmeier underlined that it is only possible to promote tolerance and define its limits on the basis of firm principles.

What an opening:
Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern-Divan Orchestra is THE example where diversity is put into practice day by day. Barenboim stressed that “music makes it possible to think, feel and express different thoughts and emotions simultaneously. Music never only cries or smiles, but makes both possible at once. It is a constant, simultaneous conversation between apparent opposites who can exist peacefully side by side in constant dialogue.”
Renan Demirkan said: “Democracy is discourse, freedom, a process, doubt, participation and solidarity.” Describing herself as a “committed cosmopolitan”, Demirkan expressed her conviction that there were no peaceful alternatives to open borders and the freedom of cultures.
I spoke long with Renan about 20 years ago and how our mindsets and focus have changed and how we get lost in noise and ignore our commons. She promised her speack which I will insert here a.s.a.p.
The whole OSCE exercise inks directly to the the Anna-Lindh-Foundation in Malta next week [link] We will see how tangible this central connection is made visible...

[More] below

See also the OSCE Security Days 4 month ago in Berlin.


The Conference on Tolerance and Diversity aimed to promote openness to diversity and to explore ways to improve the ability of modern democratic societies to adjust to new circumstances. Various high-level panels discussed the role of non-discrimination and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as a basis for tolerance. Panellists presented and assessed measures to promote social cohesion, as well as possible and necessary contributions by governments, public institutions, civil society and citizens. A special focus was put on education on tolerance and diversity and on the fight against hate speech.

Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), participated in the conference’s opening panel discussion: “Despite some progress, we are facing many challenges when it comes to issues of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation and other characteristics,” Link said. “Current data indicates a rise in the number of hate crimes in some parts of the OSCE region. Hate crime is not only an extreme negation of human rights, but also a rejection of the principles of a democratic and diverse society. Promoting democracy and diversity and combating intolerance are obligations for all actors in society and commitments given by all OSCE participating States.”

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, stressed the critical role that freedom of expression and media freedom play in promoting equality and in combating intolerance.“ Media, the Internet and other digital technologies play an essential role in keeping society informed, and to provide avenues for counter-speech,” Mijatović said in a panel debate on countering hate speech and combating discrimination on the Internet. “Freedom of expression should be looked upon as a tool and a possibility to counter hate speech and extremist narrative, and not as a hindrance.”

OSZE-Sicherheitstage in Berlin: Von Konfrontation zur Kooperation – Rückkehr zur kooperativen Sicherheit in Europa

WIEN/BERLIN, 21 Juni 2016 – Die Entwicklung konkreter Empfehlungen zur Wiederherstellung des Vertrauens innerhalb des OSZE-Raums und die Bewältigung der verschiedenen Bedrohungswahrnehmungen, mit dem Ziel zur kooperativen Sicherheit im OSZE-Raum zurückzukehren, wird das zentrale Thema der kommenden OSZE-Sicherheitstage sein. Diese werden vom 23. bis 24. Juni in Berlin unter dem Titel „Von Konfrontation zur Kooperation – Wiederherstellung der kooperativen Sicherheit in Europa“ stattfinden.


Am Montag, den 19. September, reist Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier nach Warschau, wo er das jährliche „Human Dimension Implementation Meeting“ der Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) eröffnet.
Weitere Redner bei der Eröffnung der Menschenrechtskonferenz sind der Direktor des Büros für demokratische Institutionen und Menschenrechte der OSZE (ODIHR), Michael Georg Link, der polnische Außenminister Witold Waszczykowski und die Präsidentin der parlamentarischen Versammlung der OSZE, Christine Muttonen.
Das „Human Dimension Implementation Meeting“ ist die größte Menschenrechtskonferenz in Europa. Sie findet seit 1993 jährlich statt und bringt ca. 1.300 Teilnehmer aus OSZE-Teilnehmer- und Partnerstaaten, internationalen Organisationen sowie Mitglieder der Zivilgesellschaft zusammen.
Im Mittelpunkt der zweiwöchigen Konferenz und ihrer über 100 Nebenveranstaltungen stehen in diesem Jahr unter anderem die Themen Versammlungsfreiheit, Kinderrechte und „50 Jahre internationale UN-Pakte“.
Weitere Informationen zur Konferenz in englischer und russischer Sprache finden Sie auf der Webseite

Die Veranstaltung ist eine interaktive und offene Diskussion und wird in Zusammenarbeit mit der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung und der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung organisiert. Ziel ist es, hochrangige Regierungsvertreter, regionale und internationale Organisationen, NGOs und Interessierte aus Wissenschaft und Medien zusammenzubringen. Sie werden über wesentliche Sicherheitsherausforderungen in Europa, im euro-atlantischen und im euro-asiatischen Raum beraten, um Wege zur Risikominderung zu finden, Konfrontationen zu beseitigen und somit zur Kooperation in Europa zurückzukehren.

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