Treacy Reiterates Irish Commitments on Combating Racism and Anti-Semitism
Speaking at the opening of the OSCE* Conference on Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Intolerance in Cordoba, Mr. Noel Treacy T.D., Minister for European Affairs, today outlined the principal objectives of the National Action Plan against Racism adopted in January this year.
Stressing that the plan had been preceded by extensive consultations with all stakeholders, the Minister emphasized the five key principles of Protection, Inclusion, Provision, Recognition and Participation which underlie the plan. The plan which covers the period up to 2008 is also linked to the intercultural guide lines for Primary and Secondary Schools which are being introduced this year.
The Conference, hosted by the Government of Spain, is the latest in a series organized by OSCE to focus on action to combat anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and intolerance against Islam, Christianity and other faiths.
Minister Treacy stressed the social and cultural diversity which Ireland's economic development has brought over the past decade. Welcoming this enrichment of Irish society, the Minister warned of the associated dangers.
“We are aware of the need to strive against any growth of racism in Ireland. Building a society that values and accommodates cultural diversity is both a challenge and an opportunity over the coming years. Ireland is responding.” The Minister told delegates from over sixty countries.
To coincide with the Conference, a number of events emphasizing the historical role of Cordoba as a meeting place of Christianity, Islam and Judaism were organized by the Spanish authorities and international NGOs.
* The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe brings together all fifty five States in Europe and the former Soviet Union, the US and Canada to cooperate in three dimensions of security, politico-military, economic-environmental and human. The OSCE developed from the Conference on Security and Cooperation which adopted the Helsinki Final Act in 1975 and the Charter of Paris in 1990, which ended the Cold War. The Chair of the OSCE is currently held by the Foreign Minister of Slovenia, Dr. Dimitrij Rupel.