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Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
March 21, 2008


(Washington, D.C.) Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), issued the following statement commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:

“Whether we are speaking of the Roma in Europe, African-Americans in the United States, or others, on this day, we must not only acknowledge the continuing problem of racial discrimination, but also solutions. I have called on my government to implement recent recommendations from the UN Committee to Eliminate Racial Discrimination (CERD). Likewise, European Union members should fully and correctly implement the race directive, and eastern European countries must implement similar initiatives. Ultimately more must be done here and abroad to implement anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws, support racial diversity initiatives, combat racism, and ensure human rights for all,” said Hastings.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21, following the UN General Assembly’s 1966 recognition of the deaths of demonstrators protesting apartheid in South Africa killed by police on March 21, 1960.

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.
Media Contact: Lale Mamaux
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Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic (C), who serves as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 2015, meeting with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (L) and Helsinki Commission Chairman Chris Smith (R) immediately after the February 25 hearing on Serbia's leadership of the OSCE. (Feb. 2015)