Press Releases

    Note No. 5841
    21 January 2004

    Note to Correspondents

    Anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia, Racism Is Focus of DPI/NGO Briefing, 22 January

    NEW YORK, 20 January (UN Headquarters) -- “Anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia and Racism:  New Perspectives on Old Menaces” will be the focus of a DPI/NGO Briefing to be held on Thursday, 22 January, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in Conference Room 1 of the United Nations Secretariat Building.

    Organized by the NGO Section of the Department of Public Information (DPI), the Briefing will focus on the heightened concerns regarding these problems and explore strategies to understand and combat the resurgent threats of anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia and racism. The central role of the United Nations in this effort will be underscored, while panellists will explore the very local and personal natures of intolerance, prejudice and discrimination from psychosocial perspectives.

    The Briefing panellists, representing a variety of national and ethnic backgrounds, include:  Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information; Dr. Afaf Mahfouz, psychoanalyst, International Psychoanalytical Association; Dr. Salman Akhtar, Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia; Dr. Ira Brenner, psychoanalyst, American Psychoanalytical Association; and Dr. Forrest Hamer, psychologist, University of California Berkeley.

    The problems of anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia and racism require institutional, as well as community and individual, responses.  The United Nations is a leading force in combating these persistent problems.  Over the decades, the Organization has overseen the painstaking creation and monitoring of binding international agreements and conventions establishing the principles of non-discrimination and equality without distinction to race, ethnic group, culture and religion.

    As Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated in a speech earlier this month:  “The United Nations, for its part, must reject all forms of racism and discrimination.  Only in so doing, clearly and consistently, will it be true to its Charter and to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to people of all creeds and colours striving for their dignity.”

    UNTV will cover the Briefing and webcast live through an interactive site,, enabling non-governmental organization representatives and the general public worldwide to follow the Briefing proceedings through their personal computers.  To obtain a live feed or tape, please call UNTV at (212) 963-7650. Updates are available at our web site at: ngosection

    Media Accreditation:  All non-accredited members of the press must obtain United Nations media accreditation well in advance by submitting a request to the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (fax: 212-963-4642), accompanied by a letter of assignment that specifies the name of the journalist seeking accreditation.  Once approved, a UN grounds pass can be obtained by presenting two forms of photo identification at the Pass and ID Office, located at the corner of 45th Street and First Avenue, New York.  Pass office hours are:  Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed between the hours of 12:45 p.m. and 2 p.m.), and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.  For further information regarding United Nations accreditation only, please call (212) 963-6934, 6936 or 6937.

    Contacts:  Paul Hoeffel, tel. (212) 963-8070, e-mail:; Tala Dowlatshahi, tel. (212) 963-1859, e-mail:

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