UNESCO hosts second conference on 'Education for tolerance: the case of resurgent antisemitism'Paris – The second international conference on “Educating for Tolerance: the Case of Resurgent Antisemitism,” organized by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in cooperation with UNESCO will be held at UNESCO Headquarters from May 12 to 14.
The opening session on May 12 (7 pm) will be attended by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, Israel’s Minister for Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
A press conference (2.30 pm, accreditation required) with Mr Matsuura and Rabbi Hier will be held before the opening ceremony.
The morning session on May 13 (10 am to midday), entitled “Antisemitism Old and New: A Status Check,” will feature talks by Rabbi Abraham Cooper (“Hate on the Internet”), Spanish parliamentarian and journalist Pilar Rahola (“The European Left and Antisemitism”), the Director of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, Beate Winkler (“The European focus”), French parliamentarian Rachid Kaci and Yigal Carmon, President of the Middle East Media Research Institute, in Washington.
The afternoon of May 13 will be divided into two sessions: “Faultlines and Battlefronts” (2–3.30 pm) and “Models of Good Practice” (4-6 pm). European parliamentarians Ilke Schröder and François Zimeray, academic Jerrold Post, lawyer Arno Klarsfeld and Shimon Samuels of the Wiesenthal Centre, will speak at the first session. The second will include Liebe Geft, Director of the Museum of Tolerance, in Los Angeles (US), Sammy Ghozlan, a French former police commissioner and coordinator of the Bureau de Vigilance Contre l’Antisémitisme (BVCA), and Father Christian Weber, who works with skinheads in Germany.
The morning session on May 14 (9-11 am), entitled “Tolerance as an Act of Faith: Different Paths, One Destination”, will feature Lord Carey of Clifton, emeritus Archbishop of Canterbury; the Reverend Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, of the Russian Orthodox Church; Hiromasa Ikeda, Vice-President of the Soka Gakkai International Buddhist Movement; Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel; Father Patrick Desbois, Secretary of the Vatican Episcopal Committee for Relations with Judaism; and Surin Pitsuwan, a former Thai foreign minister and an expert on Islam.
Before the conference ends, a session on “Applying the Lessons of Tolerance” (11.15 am to 12.30 pm) will hear General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, on “The Road from Bosnia,” and architect Frank Gehry on “The Jerusalem Centre for Human Dignity.”
The first conference on “Educating for Tolerance: the Case of Resurgent Antisemitism,” was held in June 1992 at UNESCO Headquarters. Three conferences were subsequently organized by the Wiesenthal Centre under the auspices of UNESCO: “From Xenophobia to Tolerance: Jews and Muslims in Europe and Beyond” (Paris 1995); “Migrantophobia, Caucasophobia and Anti-Semitism (Moscow 1996) and “Kosovo in the Mirror of Auschwitz” (Vienna, 1997).
Journalists wishing to cover the conference and attend the press conference should request accreditation from the UNESCO Press Service, tel: +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 48