TORONTO, September 11, 2003 - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) has been appointed interlocutor by the United Nations (UN) office in Geneva to facilitate the cross-Canada visit for civil society of the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance of the UN Commission on Human Rights. Mr. Doudou Diène, will be in Canada from September 15-26, 2003 at the invitation of the federal government. During his Canadian mission, Mr. Diène will address the media at only two occasions, both in Ottawa -- at the beginning and the end of his visit, in the presence of some groups with which he will be meeting.
While in Canada, the Special Rapporteur will attend extensive meetings and site visits to gain first-hand knowledge of the country's policies to address racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance, including its official policy of multiculturalism. He is scheduled to meet with federal, provincial and local government officials, Aboriginal communities and leaders, as well as representatives of diverse ethnic, racial, religious and other, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in the following cities:
Ottawa (September 15-16) Montreal (September 17-18) Halifax (September 19-20)
Regina (September 22-23) Toronto (September 24-25)
Mr. Diène will report his findings to the Commission on Human Rights at its next meeting beginning in March 2004. As interlocutor, the CRRF will provide the Special Rapporteur with information on substantive issues, and coordinate meetings with representatives of NGOs in all cities he will visit while in Canada.
Mr. Diène is a former UNESCO Director of the Department of International Dialogue and Pluralism for a Culture of Peace and was appointed in April 2002 by the UN Commission of Human Rights as its Special Rapporteur on Racism. Since his appointment, he has also visited Guyana and Trinidad. He will visit Colombia following his trip to Canada.
Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Regina and Toronto (September 15-26)
CRRF Appointed Interlocutor to Facilitate Cross-Country Visit for Civil Society
Press Briefing (Ottawa)
10:30-11:00 a.m.; Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Colonel By Room
Ottawa City Hall (110 Laurier Avenue West)