9 June 2006

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diène, will visit the Russian Federation from 12 to 17 June 2006 at the invitation of the Government.

The Special Rapporteur will travel to Moscow and St. Petersburg to gather first-hand information on the question of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in particular in relation to a number of minority communities.

He is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Russian Government, both at national and local levels, with members of the legislative and judiciary branches, with non-governmental organizations and individuals dealing with issues related to his mandate, as well as with United Nations officials. He will also visit several communities that are reportedly victims of discrimination.

The Special Rapporteur will include a summary of his findings on his visit to Russia in his interim report to the General Assembly this autumn. He will submit a final report on the visit to the new United Nations Human Rights Council.

Mr. Diène, a former UNESCO Director of the Department of Intercultural Dialogue and Pluralism for a Culture of Peace, is a strong promoter of dialogue among cultures. He is the second personality to be appointed by the Commission on Human Rights, soon to be replaced by the Human Rights Council, to the position of Special Rapporteur on racism since the mandate was established in 1993. He was appointed on 25 April 2002 by Commission resolution 2002/68. Since then he has conducted official visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Canada, Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Côte d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Japan, Brazil and Switzerland.