The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr Michael McDowell TD, today congratulated Dr Mazhar Ali Bari on taking up his position as a member of the European Commission on Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), a body of the Council of Europe. Dr Bari was nominated by the Government for the position and replaces the previous Irish member Mr Chris Flood.

Congratulating Dr Bari the Tánaiste said, "I am delighted that Dr Bari has accepted this role. He comes to ECRI with a wealth of experience and ideas and I am confident that he will perform his role with the same dedication and energy that he has shown in his contribution to the implementation of the National Action Plan Against Racism. I would like to wish him every success."

Dr Bari is a member of the strategic monitoring group that oversees implementation of the National Action Plan Against Racism. As a member of this group, he works with government bodies, social partners, expert bodies and representatives of the Traveller community and minority ethnic communities. Dr Bari is also a member of the Protection working group, a subgroup of the strategic monitoring group, which is concerned with effective protection and redress against racism.

In addition, Dr Bari is a member of the boards of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism and of the Muslim National School in Clonskeagh, Dublin. He is also a member of the executive committee of the Association of Pakistanis in Ireland and a member of the Ireland Pakistan Business Council.

A physicist by profession and Programme Manager of a nanoscience research project in CRANN at Trinity College, Dr Bari has recently established a technology company.

28 December 2006


Note for Editors

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) is a body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent members from each member state. Its aim is to combat racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance at a pan-European level and from the angle of the protection of human rights.

One of the pillars of ECRI's work programme is its country-by-country approach, in which racism and intolerance in each of the member states of the Council of Europe are analysed.

As part of the preparation for its third country report, ECRI visited Ireland in October, 2006. Meetings were organised with government departments, other public institutions working in the equality area and non-governmental organisations. The report is expected to be published in early 2007.