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SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON RACISM TO VISIT SWITZERLAND


6 January 2006


The Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Mr. Doudou Diène, will undertake a visit to Switzerland from 9 to 13 January 2006 at the invitation of the Swiss authorities. This mission constitutes the first visit of a special procedures mandate holder to Switzerland.

The Special Rapporteur will travel to three linguistic regions of Switzerland and will visit the cities of Bellinzona, Bern, Basel and Neuchâtel. During the visit the Special Rapporteur will investigate allegations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the measures and policies adopted to combat them. He is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Swiss Federal Government and canton authorities, representatives of non-governmental organizations, associations and communities, and other parts of civil society.

The Special Rapporteur will submit an interim report during the next session of the Commission on Human Rights, in March 2006, and will present his final report on this visit to the sixty-third session of the Commission on Human Rights in 2007.

Mr. Diène, a former UNESCO Director of the Department of Intercultural Dialogue and Pluralism for a Culture of Peace, is a strong promoter of the dialogue among cultures. He is the second expert to be appointed by the Commission on Human Rights to the position of Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, since the mandate was established in 1993. He was appointed on 25 April 2002 and his appointment was renewed in April 2005 by the Commission on Human Rights for a further period of three years.

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