In recent years, the OSCE has held several conferences on promoting tolerance and non-discrimination, combating anti-Semitism and tackling hate speech on the Internet. At these events, the participating States have called on the Organization to focus greater attention in this area by appointing Personal Representatives of the Chairman.
In December 2004, then OSCE Chairman-in-Office (CiO) and Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy appointed three Personal Representatives to promote greater tolerance and combat racism, xenophobia and discrimination across the OSCE region.
The appointments were extended by the subsequent OSCE CiOs in 2005-15.
On March 9, 2015, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) appointed U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin to serve as the OSCE PA's first Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism and Intolerance (SRARI).