Vienna, 19 March 2010 - „Intolerance, discrimination, exclusion, and violence against minorities have no place in our societies – we must consistently confront these day by day. Together, we must contribute toward a tolerant and non-discriminatory environment both in our own country and at an international level. The objective must be a society that is based on respect and tolerance for others, and which enforces these values in everyday life“, said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger on the occasion of the 44th International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 22 March.
Spindelegger pointed out to the importance of international bodies such as the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), or the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD): "The recently published ECRI report on Austria confirms the progress achieved, especially with regard to equal treatment policy, the integration of migrants, education promotion of migrant children, and intercultural learning. A lot, however, remains to be done. The recommendations of the commission provide us with important impulses for improvements that now need to be addressed“, said Spindelegger.
The worldwide rise in violence and discrimination against religious minorities, in particular Christians, is a cause for concern: "Threatening, persecuting, and displacing people on the grounds of their faith is unacceptable. Diversity and pluralism pose no risk to our societies, but are a source of development, progress, and peace. Religious minorities must be given effective protection, and perpetrators must be held accountable. Austria will unabatedly continue its engagement in this direction".
Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550, 3739
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213