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IRI President Led U.S. Delegation to Conference on Human Rights and Democracy

September 30, 2005

Washington, DC – Lorne W. Craner, president of IRI and former assistant secretary of state for democracy and human rights recently led the U.S. delegation to Europe's largest human rights and democracy conference.  Hosted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting brought together more than 800 participants from the OSCE region and the U.S.

"Human rights and democracy are values shared by all Americans and this conference highlights Europe's and the United States' shared commitment to protecting and supporting those rights for all peoples," said Craner.

Ambassador Christian Strohal, director of ODIHR, opened the conference by saying, "This meeting not only helps to discuss in a frank and open way the achievements and failures, but also to work more closely to identify ways and means to provide better human security for everyone in the OSCE region."

The conference ran from September 19-30, 2005, in Warsaw, Poland, and looked at the implementation of the OSCE's founding document, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, as well as other commitments made since then.  ODIHR is based in Warsaw, Poland.  It is active throughout the OSCE area in the fields of election observation, democratic development, human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, and rule of law.