At Session 1 on “Tolerance and Non-Discrimination”, Warsaw, September 24, 2013, the following Intervention was read by Stephen Coughlin.
Mr. Coughlin is representing the Center for Security Policy at the OSCE’s Human Dimension Implementation Meeting.
While we appreciate the width and the severity of topics discussed here, the Center for Security Policy sees a need to object to the use of terms which are undefined, ill-defined, or defined by non-OSCE entities and whose purpose is to stigmatize, marginalize, and intimidate those holding dissenting opinions.
Examples include, but are not limited to; “intolerance”, “discrimination”, “racism”, “hate”, “xenophobia”, and “Islamophobia” without reference to any underlying claims or facts.
The use of controversial undefined terms to attack citizens has been a notorious strategy employed by oppressive and totalitarian political regimes seeking to silence dissent.
CSP recommends that the OSCE and ODIHR suspend this practice until a published definition of terms is provided that meets EU Human Rights and U.S. Civil Rights scrutiny.
Thank you for your time and attention.