ADL Urges UNESCO To Remove Endorsement of World Philosophy Event in Iran

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.

UNESCO withdrew its endorsement of the World Philosophy Day events set to take place in Tehran. More >>

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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