21.02.2017 - ODG

Director-General Irina Bokova and Member of British Parliament John Mann shared commitment to pursue Holocaust Education and fight against Anti-Semitism

©UNESCO/Christelle ALIX

On 20 February 2017, the Director-General held a meeting with the Rt Hon. John Mann, Member of British Parliament (MP), Chair of the Parliamentary Committee against Anti-Semitism and Chair of the International Coalition against Anti-Semitism.

Mr Mann’s visit took place in the context of the pursuit of long-term synergies with UNESCO on key topics of joint interest, in particular the promotion of Holocaust Education, the prevention of Anti-Semitism, the fight against discrimination in sport, more specifically in football, as well as the cooperation with cities and mayors as key actors to foster social inclusion and cohesion.

Mr. Mann was informed about UNESCO activities in the field of Holocaust Education, in the context of the Organization’s unique mandate within the United Nations System in this area -- notably with regard to assisting Member States in devising educational policies to integrate Holocaust Education, as well as genocide prevention, as well as the elaboration of guidelines and indicators in this field, and the review of programmes thereon related.

John Mann MP appreciated the work led by UNESCO in this context and expressed the wish to build cooperation in these efforts. In this context, he referred to his personal efforts to lead the Early Day Motion 1324, that was presented at the British Parliament at his initiative. He also commended UNESCO for the work in the fight against racism and discrimination, and more specifically to combat anti-Semitism.

The Director-General highlighted the critical importance of promoting education to fight all forms of racism and discrimination, including anti-Semitism. She further emphasized that these efforts are integral part of UNESCO’s efforts to promote education for global citizenship and action to bolster media and information literacy, to prevent violent extremism and to help young women and men counter radicalisation through the Internet.

“We need to lead this struggle with young people, including in and through sports to advance tolerance and to fight hate speech, racism and discrimination”, said Irina Bokova.

Relevant cooperation between UNESCO and several football clubs such as Barcelona and Malaga FC (Spain), Ruby Shenzhen (China), Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia), and Juventus FC (Italy), was emphasized in this regard, as a means to integrate anti-discrimination and anti-racism clauses in players’ contracts, so as through the information and awareness campaignNo respect, no game”, launched by UNESCO and the PRISA communication group to combat racism and discrimination in football. UNESCO has placed a strong emphasis on the clubs’ role in disseminating this message and promoting inclusion across the world of sports.

 “In Europe, football and cities are the same”, stressed John Mann MP, calling for a wider possible involvement of cities across the United Kingdom with UNESCO in the future, such as Manchester and Liverpool. The Coalition of Cities against Racism, of which the Greater London Authority is already a member, was also referred to as an appropriate partner to reach out to the local entities.

“UNESCO’s strength lies in its authentically universal dimension and it brings a true international perspective. We are very keen to deepen our collaboration and build strong synergies in areas of joint importance”, emphasized MP Mann.

Director-General Bokova expressed her gratitude to John Mann MP and assured him of the full commitment of UNESCO to establish a mutually beneficial cooperation between UNESCO and the United Kingdom, including through its Parliament.

 

 




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