Press releases, 09.04.2024

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe convened this year's Conference on Addressing Anti-Semitism in the OSCE region in Malta on 8 and 9 October. It marked the 20th anniversary of the OSCE's Berlin declaration against antisemitism and highlighted the sharp rise in antisemitism since the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October 2023 and the outbreak of the war in Gaza. The participating states underlined the need for interfaith and intercultural dialogue to bridge divides between communities. Switzerland, which was represented by Ambassador Simon Geissbühler at the conference, called for the swift implementation of concrete short- and long-term measures against antisemitism.

The OSCE conference on addressing antisemitism took place at a time when the number of antisemitic incidents in Switzerland and most other OSCE states has risen sharply. The main focus of the conference was therefore on the question of what measures are to be taken to combat antisemitism more effectively. Declarations against antisemitism are no longer sufficient. Our actions, not our words, define us," said Ambassador Simon Geissbühler, head of the FDFA's Peace and Human Rights Division, who led the Swiss delegation at the conference. Speaking in Malta, Geissbühler outlined Switzerland's recent measures to tackle antisemitism at federal, cantonal and communal levels – including enhanced security for Jewish institutions, plans to draw up a national strategy against antisemitism and racism, innovative educational projects, and collaboration between the FDFA, the City of Bern, and civil society to create a memorial in Bern for the victims of National Socialism.

The participating states agreed to improve their coordination of action against antisemitism within the OSCE area, to facilitate greater knowledge-sharing and collaboration, and to step up their efforts to curb antisemitism on social media and promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue.

This OSCE conference traces its roots to the organisation's Berlin declaration of 29 April 2004, in which the participating states condemned antisemitic statements and acts of violence and agreed to implement measures to combat antisemitism.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last update 19.07.2023

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FDFA Communication

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