ADC to Provide Expert Testimony at Two Upcoming OSCE ODIHR Conferences

Washington, DC | May, 21 2008 | | Kareem Shora, National Executive Director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) will represent ADC in providing expert testimony during two upcoming conferences hosted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). While this will be the seventh OSCE event, in the past three years, at which ADC gives a presentation, it is first time ADC will provide expert-level testimony to the intergovernmental body.
First, ADC will give a presentation during the “OSCE ODIHR Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on the Role of National Institutions against Discrimination in Combating Racism and Xenophobia” in Vienna, Austria, on May 29 and 30. This meeting is designed to provide civil society with an opportunity to prepare recommendations, which will be presented at the opening of the meeting, to discuss current issues and priorities related to the role of national institutions against discrimination, to exchange information on best practices, and to facilitate and enhance coalition-building across diverse communities and civil society groups throughout the OSCE region.
Second, ADC will give a second presentation during the “ODIHR Experts Assessment Meeting on Combating Intolerance against Muslims” in Warsaw, Poland, on June 3 and 4. This meeting will serve as a primary tool for the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department of the ODIHR to develop practical materials to combat intolerance against Muslims, will identify challenges and recent developments in relation to combating intolerance against Muslims in the OSCE region, good practices and already existing international and national initiatives addressing this challenge, and finally explore what would be the added value of the ODIHR in this area, without duplicating the work already being done by others, but building on those efforts.
ADC is also scheduled to participate in the “OSCE ODIHR Training for Non Governmental Organizations on How to Prevent and Respond to Hate Motivated Crimes” which will also be held in Warsaw on May 31 to June 2. ADC has been selected to participate in this event from a pool of applicants representing NGOs across the OSCE region.
In March 2007, ADC participated in the OSCE ODIHR Conference on the Role of Civil Society in Preventing Terrorism (See: ). Following that conference ADC and the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) announced their coordination effort in addressing the role of civil society within the context of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). ADC and CAF announced their commitment to this coordination process to better provide constructive contributions within the OSCE context and continue to serve as a reliable and accurate source of information from the United States and Canada for the ODIHR as it implements its mandates (See: ).
The OSCE is the world‘s largest regional security organization whose 55 participating states span the geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is the specialized institution of the OSCE dealing with elections, human rights, and democratization The ODIHR was founded in 1995 and is based in Warsaw, Poland. It is active throughout the OSCE area in the fields of election observation, democratic development, human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, and rule of law. To learn more about the OSCE, visit:

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