“Today in Europe, our societies are changing constantly and rapidly. Globalisation has marked an increase in the mobility of persons, and our societies are becoming more and more diverse.
Our continent is also faced with a number of challenges, some unprecedented. In recent years we have seen a huge increase in the arrival in Europe of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers fleeing their own countries due to conflicts, violence or persecution or simply in pursuit of a better life for themselves or their families. We also face threats such as terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation.
These phenomena have undeniably led to an escalation of intolerance in our societies. Intolerance often borne of fear and rejection of the unknown, of the other. We have seen a rise in hate speech and in populist rhetoric. We are facing the risk of divided societies, violence and marginalisation.
It is therefore more important than ever to mark the International Day of Tolerance on 16 November.
We all have a responsibility to promote tolerance in our societies. True tolerance which requires positive action from each and every one of us to show respect for all individuals, to actively seek an understanding of all people whatever their situation or background and to cultivate genuine dialogue.
Croatia supports the work of the Council of Europe which has long strived to promote these values, and will continue to do so, through the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”