We would like to commend the Special Rapporteur for a comprehensive report. We welcome the special focus on the need to further develop and implement preventive measures as a precondition for effective enforcement. Norway fully supports this multidisciplinary approach, which in our view is of crucial importance for obtaining results in this field.
Now, more than ever, it is important to confront extremist ideologies, prejudices and stereotypes of cultural and religious intolerance in the public debate and to bring out the counter-arguments.
The terrorist attacks in Norway last summer, when 77 people were killed, underlines the importance of incorporating prevention of racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia in strategies to combat terrorism, as recommended by the Special Rapporteur in his report.
Our national action plan to promote equality and prevent ethnic discrimination highlights the following three points which all relate to the importance of prevention:
• It is imperative to combat prejudices and racial discrimination through dialogue and open public debate.
• It is equally important to create an inclusive learning environment in kindergartens and schools that is free of racism, discrimination, bullying and violence, and an education system that reflects the diversity of the population.
• It is more important than ever to confront prejudice and stereotypes that foster cultural and religious intolerance in the public debate and to present sound counter-arguments.
The report outlines many important measures, among them the Internet as a new arena and tool in the prevention of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. In Norway the Internet has also become a major arena for the spreading of intolerance. This seems to be a global challenge and the Special Rapporteur also points to these negative side effects.
In this respect, Norway would like to seek your advice on how best to counter the dissemination of racist ideas and hatred. Are there so far any good practices in the prevention of the spreading of illegal intolerance on the Internet, without impacting the right to privacy and freedom of expression?
We welcome the intention of the Special Rapporteur to further clarify preventive measures and to highlight good practices from different parts of the world in future reports and look forward to many fruitful exchanges in this regard.
I thank you for your attention.