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On Istanbul Process for Combating Religious Intolerance

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

December 13, 2011


________________________________________

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver closing remarks at the first meeting of the Istanbul Process for Combating Intolerance and Discrimination based on Religion or Belief, on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at 3:00 pm at the U.S. Department of State.

The meeting assembled experts from 30 countries and international organizations to discuss best practices for engaging religious minorities, training government officials on religious and cultural awareness, and enforcing laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion or belief.

The United States believes that freedom of religion and freedom of expression are vital to every nation and critical in maintaining stability and promoting economic prosperity. The Istanbul Process acts on that belief by providing a forum to implement U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, which calls for specific steps to combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence on the basis of religion or belief, while also protecting freedom of speech and religion. Remarks will be open to credentialed members of the media.

Pre-set time for cameras: 2:00 p.m. from the 23rd Street entrance
Final access time for journalists and still photographers: 2:15 p.m. from the 23rd Street entrance

Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) A U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver's license, passport).

PRESS CONTACTS:

U.S. Department of State, Office of Press Relations
Phone (202) 647-2492

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor, Evan Owen
Phone 202-647-4747 or owene@state.gov

ENDS

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