Wien, 20. September 2011 Press release

Waldner: “Dialogue prevents antisemitism, discrimination and intolerance“

State Secretary meets delegation of Anti-Defamation League

Vienna, 20 September 2011 – “We are in full agreement with the objectives pursued by the Anti-Defamation League in the fight against antisemitism, discrimination and intolerance. The promotion of diversity and the universal protection of human rights and basic freedoms, including the freedom of religion, are the foundation of our commitment to the dialogue of cultures and religions”, State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner said on the occasion of a visit a delegation of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a US human rights organisation, paid to the Foreign Ministry.

The group of young executives from Chicago is spending some days in Austria and will attend the panel discussion on “Jewish, Muslim and Christian Perspectives on Combating Discrimination and Promoting Inclusion” at the Diplomatic Academy tomorrow, Wednesday. The discussion has been organised by the Foreign Ministry.

The ADL delegation was particularly interested in learning about the position of Austria and the EU on the Palestinian application for full membership in the United Nations Organisation. Waldner explained: “We consider it highly important that the EU speak with one voice and consequently we support the discussions of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, with the conflicting parties and the partners of the Diplomatic Quartet. There is no getting around a return to the negotiating table and working on a two-state solution.”

Against the background of the measures adopted in June with regard to redeveloping the Jewish cemeteries in Deutschkreutz and Stockerau, State Secretary Waldner said: “We are aware of our historic responsibility which also entails obligation for the future.”

“Austria’s cooperation with the Anti-Defamation League has gained momentum over the past few years, and we wish to use this as the basis for further development”, Waldner concluded. As examples in addition to the cooperation in dialogue initiatives he mentioned the training courses for Austrian police in prejudice-free mind-set and the work of Austrians doing their Austrian Social Peace Service at ADL in the USA.

 

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