Action needed against growing intolerance and racism

— UNITED Press Release —
— Basel, 03 December 2014 —

NGO’s at the OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference 2-3 December in Basel: Action needed against growing intolerance and racism

“Action is needed”, says Ralph du Long, delegate from UNITED for Intercultural Action at the OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference in Basel: “We see a rise of racist parties across the OSCE region. The OSCE is in a key position to step up the fight against racism and intolerance and has developed many instruments. We included a number of important recommendations in our ‘Basel declaration‘. UNITED believes OSCE should focus on education, strengthen the visibility of the Personal Representatives of the OSCE Chair and explore the possibilities to add fundamental rights to its election monitoring mechanisms.”

Approximately 120 Civil Society delegates from over 30 countries at the OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference have formulated recommendations for the attention of the 21st OSCE Ministerial Council taking place in Basel from 4 to 5 December 2014.
They urge their Foreign Affairs Ministers to take action against growing intolerance and racism, and adopted the ‘Basel Declaration’, titled:
“Rising intolerance, discrimination, and hate crimes pose a major risk for security and require a coordinated response from the OSCE”

At the heart of this declaration is the warning against the rise of racist and right wing populist parties and movements across the OSCE region. NGO’s warn that Muslims, migrants, LGBT’s and other vulnerable groups, are used as scapegoats and blamed for much what is going wrong in communities.
These NGO’s call upon the OSCE to take coordinated action against these developments. They propose to focus on education and to add monitoring fundamental rights to the OSCE election observation mechanisms.

The recommendations of the Civil Society Organizations will be presented at a media conference with the OSCE Chairperson-in-office Didier Burkhalter. It will be streamed on 3 December from 5:00 to 5:30 pm on the webpage, live from the media center of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Basel.

More Information online:

– Civil Society Recommendations to the Participants of he OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Basel

– Civic Solidarity: “OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference 2014” agenda and documents

– OSCE: “OSCE Ministerial Council to start in Basel on Thursday

Swiss Peace Council