OSCE FORB Meeting in Vienna Takes up Theme of “Places of Worship”

July 2009 – Vienna

“Places of Worship” was one of the principal themes discussed at the Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Freedom of Religion or Belief organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and held in Vienna, Austria on 9-10 July 2009.  Virtually all of the member states of the OSCE (“Vancouver to Vladivostok moving east”) were represented at the event. Places of worship has emerged as a focus area because of problematic interferences with access to and uses of places of worship in many OSCE countries, despite commitments that OSCE participating states have made to protect the fundamental right to freedom of worship. Representatives of participating states and of numerous non-governmental organizations identified a variety of concrete steps that can be taken to improve implementation of OSCE commitments in this area.