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Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum: Combating Intolerance

Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum: Combating Intolerance

Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum: Combating Intolerance

Recalling the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and all other related international
conventions and recalling the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the
Holocaust, its commitments to plant the seeds of a better future through education and
remembrance, and its pledge to fight the evils of genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism,
antisemitism and xenophobia; in support of the preparations for the Durban World
Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia And Related Intolerance; and also in support of the United Nations Secretary General’s Global Compact, we, representatives of governments at the Stockholm International Forum: Combating Intolerance, condemn intolerance in all its aspects and declare that:

1. Racism, racial discrimination, antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia;
discrimination, violence and murder because of sexual orientation, and all other forms
of intolerance, violate basic human values and threaten democratic society. All crimes
against humanity, genocide such as the Holocaust, and atrocities such as slavery and
apartheid serve as grim reminders of where intolerance can lead if permitted to
flourish and of the absolute necessity that it be stopped . We recognize the need and
will take steps to protect the weak and vulnerable in our societies, including
immigrants and asylum seekers. We pledge to take steps at the national level, and to
encourage and support action at the local, regional and international levels, to combat
all manifestations of intolerance in our societies.

2. We will develop and encourage participation in networks including all states here
assembled and others who wish to join, as well as relevant international organizations.
The networks will exchange information about experiences with combating all forms
of intolerance, with a focus on best practices and lessons learned, in such fields as
education and training, legislation, community strategies, and media. We will draw on
these networks in fulfilling our pledge to take action. We will improve existing
systems for collecting and analyzing information and monitoring intolerance at the
local, regional, national and international levels. Such information is a prerequisite for
combating intolerance and establishing inclusive societies.

3. We call on parliamentarians, educators, religious communities, youth associations,
corporations, commissions, foundations, employers, unions, local, municipal and
regional authorities, and parents in our societies to instill in our youth respect and
appreciation for diversity and the conviction that intolerance is an evil that must be
fought. We will support education and research to this end, as keys to combating
intolerance. We commend and support all efforts directed toward combating
intolerance and promoting respect through education. We will support the creation of
a research process linking academics and policy makers working to understand and
combat intolerance, and will consider the establishment of regional research centers.

4. We will further develop, and where absent consider establishing, legislative measures, including anti-discrimination legislation, in national, regional and international contexts to deny intolerance a place in our societies. We will seek recommendations from the networks formed here on using legislation to further the aims of this declaration. We will enforce with determination our laws in these fields.

5. In order to provide an infrastructure in the fight against intolerance, we undertake to
strengthen, or where necessary establish, independent national, local and municipal
specialized bodies to combat intolerance in cooperation with governmental authorities,
organizations of civil society and the private sector. We will promote coordination
between these bodies and the networks, education and training efforts, legislative
measures, and public-private partnerships.

6. Recognizing that respect for freedom of expression and opinion is essential to a
democratic society, we invite media in our societies to develop training programs for
journalists, editors and producers to positively approach the notion of inclusive
societies and to guard against media becoming a platform for those who preach hatred
and intolerance. We will commend, publicize and support those who establish such

7. We underline the positive contribution that the Internet can have in combating
intolerance. However, we are concerned by its use in the service of the promoters of
intolerance. We support international cooperation in the establishment of a voluntary
Internet Code of Conduct Against Intolerance and will encourage participation by
Internet providers in our countries. In the code’s development, we urge Internet
providers to draw on recommendations of the networks formed here. We take note of
legal instruments restricting the use of the Internet to spread messages of intolerance
being considered in a number of countries.

8. We will work to find ways to reach out to those advocating intolerance and will
engage them in the building of our inclusive societies.

9. We reaffirm our support for other international contributions on the subject (including
the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance, the Final Report
of the UN Year for Tolerance, the OSCE’s Copenhagen Document, the Political
Declaration of the European Conference Against Racism, and the European Union’s
Council of Ministers for Youth Document on Combating Racism, the Council of
Europe’s Vienna Declaration on Racism, Intolerance and Antisemitism, among
others), and offer this declaration and the proceedings of this Forum for consideration
at the Durban World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia
and Related Intolerance.

10. As we begin the new Millennium, we offer our support to those affected by and
vulnerable to all forms of intolerance. The memory of those killed by violent racism,
antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance
will remain vivid in our minds as we make a world where intolerance has no place,
where all human beings are respected and equal in dignity, and where all societies are
inclusive. In the name of justice, humanity and respect for human dignity we pledge
to continue combating all forms of intolerance and to do all we can to bring about a
world of inclusive societies speedily in our day.

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