New York, NY, November 4, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has called on the head of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization, to remove its endorsement from a World Philosophy Day event scheduled to take place in Iran later this month.
Since 2002, UNESCO has celebrated World Philosophy Day with an annual event bringing together leading philosophers from around the world for a day of discussion and debate.
"Iran's long record of suppressing free speech and the rights of certain religious minorities, censoring the media, and inhibiting the free teaching of social sciences and the humanities should not be given legitimacy by UNESCO," said Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "To do so would seriously undermine the integrity and credibility of the international community's leading organization promoting media and educational freedom."
In a November 2 letter to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, the League suggested that a parallel event scheduled by the organization to take place in Paris could serve as an appropriate alternative to the Tehran conference.
A delegation of ADL leaders on a mission to Europe this week has raised the issue of UNESCO's endorsement of the event in Iran in meetings with high-level government officials in France and Italy.