Note to Correspondents

Note No 128
15 March 2001

World Conference against Racism,
Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia
and Related Intolerance

Durban, South Africa
31 August – 7 September 2001




(14 March 2001) The United Nations and Music Television (MTV: Music Television) are joining forces to help young people find ways to combat racism and promote tolerance in their lives.

At a special event, being held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday 21 March, some 400 teenagers will participate in an anti-discrimination forum to discuss how to fight intolerance in their communities and to view innovative, anti-bias television programming from the USA, Brazil, France, and South Africa. A presentation on how to guard against Internet hate sites will also be included in the programme.

The event will be held on 21 March 2001 at UN Headquarters in Conference Room 1, from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

MTV’s popular VJ, Ananda Lewis, will host the talk show-style event, which is being held on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has been invited to meet the teenagers and a live link with Geneva will enable the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, to participate. The High Commissioner has identified young people as being a crucial group in the fight against racism. The special event is part of the lead up to the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, being held by the United Nations in South Africa from 31 August to 7 September this year.

As part of MTV's year-long pro-social campaign, "Fight for Your Rights: Take a Stand Against Discrimination" (FFYR), MTV will premiere several public service announcements at the event. The provocative PSAs, which will ultimately air on MTV and be made available to MTV International, explore the often-subtle nature of discrimination today. To carry the anti-bias message even further, the PSAs will also be made available to other TV networks worldwide.

The Fight For Your Rights campaign focuses on empowering young people to recognize and fight discrimination within their communities and within themselves. Through partnerships with several renowned civil rights and other non-profit organizations, the campaign addresses some of the most prevalent types of discrimination in our communities today, including those based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and physical or mental ability.

A live Web cast of this event can be viewed on 21 March from 10am until 11:30am (EST) at The Fight for Your Rights Web site ( will also provide a link to the live Web cast. Youth groups and schools are encouraged to log onto the Web cast and participate in the discussions on the issues raised. This can be done on the day or anytime afterwards. The Web cast will be archived for 3 months.

Arrangements can be made for any broadcaster interested in taping the event, or part of it, live for broadcast.

Ananda Lewis will be available for interviews after the event on 21 March from 11:30 am-12:00 pm.

* * *

For additional information contact:

United Nations Department of Public Information, Public Affairs Division:

Yasmin Padamseee at (212) 963-7704, E-mail
Myriam Dessables at (212) 963-2932, Email; Fax: (212) 963-1186.
MTV: Marnie Malter, MTV Communications, (212) 258-7004.

Media who wish to attend the event will need UN credentials. These can be obtained by contacting
the UN Media Accreditation Unit at telephone: (212) 963-6934 or 963-7164. A letter of assignment
should be faxed to (212) 963-4642.


If you would like to add a link to this event on your web site, a banner, along with
Instructions is available for download from