Source : OSCE.org / 02 Oct 2014
Some 1,000 government representatives and civil society activists from the OSCE’s 57 participating States and partner countries gathered in Warsaw for a two-week conference which began on September 22 to review the implementation of the commitments adopted by their governments in the field of human rights and democracy.
Senior representatives from the government of the host country, Poland, of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship and of OSCE institutions took part in the opening session. Michael Georg Link opened his first Human Dimension Meeting as ODIHR Director with a programmatic speech.
The conference scrutinized the performance by participating States in honouring their human rights commitments, including in areas such as freedom of expression, free media and information, freedom of movement and other fundamental freedoms, the promotion of mutual respect and understanding, the rule of law, gender equality and combatting human trafficking.
This year’s meeting features special sessions on violence against women and children, the rights of persons belonging to national minorities and the rights of migrants.
The meeting plays an important role in setting the OSCE’s human rights agenda ahead of the annual gathering of OSCE foreign ministers, which will take place in Basel in December.
The conference is unique in that civil society groups have full access to working sessions and can discuss challenges with government representatives on an equal footing.
On the margins of the meeting, more than 60 side events are held by governments, civil society groups and OSCE institutions and field operations on specific topics of concern and country situations.
Representatives of the OSCE’s 12 Partner States from the Mediterranean region, Asia and Australia are also participating in the conference.
Speaking at the session, a member of Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, Mufti of Moscow, the Central Region and Chuvashia Albir Krganov raised up an issue of growing Islamophobia in the United States.
Albir Krganov also said that as a religious leader and a member of the Public Chamber, I could prove that we are continuously monitoring the situation in the Muslim community of the country. There are nearly 8,000 mosques more than 100 Islamic educational institutions and about a dozen of these institutions of higher learning in Russia.