The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, in his capacity as the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), next 29 January will host at the Farnesina the “Conference on the Responsibility of States, Institutions and Individuals in the Fight against Anti-Semitism in the OSCE Area”.
The event is organized in cooperation with the OSCE with the support of the ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights), and in conjunction with the Union of Italian Jewish Communities and the Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea (CDEC), the Jewish Contemporary Documentation Centre.
“I have chosen to entitle our Chairmanship’s first event ‘Responsibility’, a very challenging term. The central theme will be that of Responsibility, both individual and collective, in the past, present and future,” affirmed Minister Alfano.
The Minister has involved in the organization of the Conference his personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on combating anti-Semitism, Rabbi Andrew Baker, as well as his personal Representative on combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination, President Salvatore Martinez, and his personal Representative on combating intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, Prof Bulent Senay. “In the last few years, episodes of anti-Semitism, also fuelled by social tension, the situation in the Middle East and the Internet’s role in accelerating the spread of propaganda, have multiplied in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The Conference will enable the exchange of opinions, experiences and best practices among participants. In sum, it aims to become a platform to promote dialogue and improve cooperation, in line with the OSCE principles, and one of the main forums of global multilateralism, leaving no room for discrimination and intolerance,” said Italy’s chief diplomat.
“Peace and security should never be taken for granted. Indifference is a dangerous enemy and we cannot afford to let down our guard before episodes inciting to violence against Jews: anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated in the 21st century,” the Minister emphasised. He added: “With this initiative, we fall in line with the President of the Republic’s decision to appoint Liliana Segre senator for life, thus honouring the importance of historical remembrance.”
Italy’s OSCE chairmanship will be in the front line not only in combating anti-Semitism but also discrimination against Christians, Muslims and the followers of other religious creeds. Our Country shall do its utmost to uphold the respect of fundamental human rights and liberties and against all forms of racism and intolerance.
On this premise, the Conference scheduled on 29 January will take a highly inclusive approach and will be structured around a plenary conference convening high-level governmental delegations, independent institutions and civil society organizations, followed by four thematic panels. The latter will be respectively dedicated to: the role of legislators, political figures and public officials in the assumption of individual and collective responsibilities; the role of religions in promoting ethical behaviour and positive education; the challenges represented by racist and discriminatory outbursts in the Internet and in social networks; and educational responsibility in schools and in sports.
The Conference will be accompanied by a multimedia exhibition on anti-Semitism, which is the fruit of the cooperation between the Foreign Ministry and several Jewish museums and institutions. “For the portion curated by the Historic Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), part of the exhibition will be dedicated to documents revealing the Fascist regime’s diplomatic strategy to promote its race-related policies. Another part will instead display documents testifying to the courageous actions of several Italian diplomats to protect Jewish communities, in the conviction they had the responsibility of acting in compliance with the principles of Justice and Humanity,” explained Minister Alfano.
In line with these first parts are also the other portions of exhibition curated by other institutions: the Yad Vashem Centre, the Museum of the Shoah of Rome, the National Italian Judaism and Shoah Museum in Ferrara (MEIS) and the Babylonian Talmud Translation Project.
STRUCTURE OF THE CONFERENCE AND THE ACCREDITATION OF MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS
The Conference, which will open with remarks by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Angelino Alfano, and by the Secretary General of the OSCE, Thomas Greminger, will be attended by 50 OSCE Governmental Delegations (including 20 at Minister and Deputy-Minister level and 30 at the level of Representatives and International Delegates) and by the leaders of the world’s major Jewish organizations.
The event will be structured into a plenary session (from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and four thematic panels (from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.) and will be entirely open to the press, who will be able to follow the Conference either in the conference hall (until a full house) or in one of the overflow rooms.
Drawing the conclusions will be entrusted to the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on combating anti-Semitism, Rabbi Andrew Baker, and to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Angelino Alfano.
The Conference presentation event will coincide with the opening of the documentary exhibition curated by Historic Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), with the contribution of the Yad Vashem Centre, the Museum of the Shoah of Rome, the National Italian Judaism and Shoah Museum in Ferrara (MEIS) and the Babylonian Talmud Translation Project.
Journalists, photographers and TV crews interested in following the event are requested to apply for accreditation in one of the following two ways:
- by filling the interactive form and clicking on the event concerned at the link http://mae.accreditationsystem.info/ITA/Indice.asp, attaching thereto, unless already provided, the documentation requested in digital format (letter from the media organisation and, for representatives of foreign media, also a Note Verbale released by the Rome Embassy of the media organisation’s Country).
- by sending an email to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s Institutional Press and Communication Service at the following address: email@example.com (Tel. + 39 06/3691.3432 or 8573 or 8210), attaching thereto the letter of his/her media organisation (or press card for freelance reporters) and, for members of the foreign press, a Note Verbale released by the Rome Embassy of the media organisation’s Country.
Accredited journalists, photographers and TV crews may collect their accreditation badges in person at the rear entrance (press entrance) of the Ministry on Via della Macchia della Farnesina, at the following two time slots:
• from 9:45 and 10:15 a.m. – to attend the plenary session • from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. – to attend the discussion panels and closing remarks