High-level OSCE conference in Astana to focus on tolerance and non-discrimination

May 17. OSCE

High-level OSCE conference in Astana to focus on tolerance and non-discriminationSenior government officials, politicians and public figures from the 56 OSCE participating States will meet in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on 29 and 30 June to discuss tolerance and non-discrimination in the OSCE region.

Promoting tolerance, non-discrimination and inter-cultural dialogue is a key priority of Kazakhstan’s OSCE Chairmanship in 2010, and the aim of the conference is to advance implementation of related OSCE commitments and values.

The focus of the conference will be on ways to combat intolerance and discrimination on religious and ethnic grounds. Participants will discuss the role of legislation, law enforcement, education systems and the media in addressing public manifestations of intolerance and promoting understanding through open dialogue.

Experts on tolerance and non-discrimination from the OSCE participating States will share their experiences in setting up mechanisms for inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue. The Special Representatives of the Chairperson-in-Office on tolerance and non-discrimination will be actively involved in the work of the conference.

Non-governmental organizations will participate in a preparatory meeting in Astana on 28 June, as well as in the conference itself.

The official opening will take place on 29 June at 10:00 at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation (the Pyramid) with a keynote speech by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, State Secretary – Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Kanat Saudabayev. After the opening session, an award ceremony for the winners of the OSCE Photo Contest on tolerance and non-discrimination will be held. Photos by the contest finalists will be featured in an exhibition in the Pyramid during the conference.

The opening and closing sessions, a final press conference on 30 June and the OSCE photo contest award ceremony will be open to media. Information about other media opportunities will be provided at the venue.

Journalists interested in covering the conference are requested to complete the media accreditation form available on the website of the Kazakhstan’s MFA. Accreditation forms must be submitted by 15 June 2010 to Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry.