|Professor Dr. Mark J. Wolff, K.M., was a delegate to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance, in Durban, South Africa. For text, video, and audio of Professor Wolff’s intervention to the Plenary Session of the United Nations on 3 September 2001, evening Session, Item 11, visit The United Nations World Conference Against Racism Web page.|
Professor Wolff also served as Head of the Delegation for the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta to the United Nations International Consultative Conference Social Education in relation to Freedom of Religion or Belief, Tolerance and Non-Discrimination in Madrid, Spain, and addressed the Plenary Session on 25 November 2001. For the text of Professor Wolff’s intervention to the Plenary Session, click here.
Professor Wolff received his B.A. from Wadhams Hall Seminary-College, J.D. magna cum laude from Nova Southeastern University School of Law, and LL.M. (in Taxation) from New York University Graduate School of Law. He was in the private practice of tax, corporate and securities law for almost a decade before being appointed Assistant Dean at St. Thomas University School of Law. Professor Wolff now enjoys the rank of Professor of Law and over the past fourteen academic years has specialized in teaching courses in numerous areas of Federal Taxation, Comparative Taxation, Tax Policy, Corporations, and Jurisprudence.
Professor Wolff was elected to public office in 1987 serving as Vice Mayor and Commissioner for the City of Coral Gables. During his elected tenure he served as Chairman of the Municipal Finance and Taxation Committee for the Florida League of Cities, Member of the Finance Administration and Inter-Governmental Affairs Committee of the National League of Cities and on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer of the Dade County League of Cities.
Professor Wolff is admitted to the Florida Bar, Southern District Court of Florida, the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, Supreme Court of Florida, United States Tax Court and Supreme Court of the United States. He is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Wadhams Hall Seminary College, Executive Director of the Dade County Educational Facilities Authority and member of the Board of Directors of the Human Rights Institute at St. Thomas University.
The Delegation of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta at the World Conference
(left to right) Professor Dr. Mark J. Wolff, K.M. and Father Gérard T. Lagleder, O.S.B.
|Intervention by: Professor Dr. Mark J. Wolff, B.A., J.D., LL.M., Knight of Magistral Grace of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Representative of the Order to this World Conference.|
Madam / Mr. President,
As we conclude this year the twentieth anniversary of the 1981 “Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief”, and approach the international consultative conference on school education in relation to freedom of religion and belief, tolerance and non-discrimination to be held in Madrid November 23rd to 25th, 2001, it is disheartening to observe the increase of religious intolerance in many regions of the World.
Since 1987 special Rapporteurs of the Commission on Human Rights have been examining the problem of religious intolerance. Since 1987 reports have been submitted each year to the Commission and since 1994 to the General Assembly. While some progress has been made the studies and reports reveal a disturbing trend exacerbated by additional factors complicating and compounding the issues and practices of religious intolerance.
The right to freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. It is an inherent right of every human being and is an essential expression of the human spirit, protecting and enhancing the dignity and individuality of each person created in the image of God. Yet as we begin the Third Millennium religious intolerance remains an increasing and pervasive problem with historical roots in social, cultural and religious traditions. Today religious intolerance is co-mingled with new and alarming phenomena.
Extremism in any manifestation is incompatible with the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; particularly when combined with extremist religious and political organizations. History and unfortunately our contemporary world are replete with holocausts and ethnic cleansings that have occurred in the name of religion and perpetrated by extremists utilizing religion as a scapegoat. According to the excellent report submitted by Special Rapporteur Mr. Abdelfattah Amor on Civil And Political Rights, Including Religious Intolerance to the Commission on Human Rights minorities and women are predominantly vulnerable to extremist religious organizations. (E/CN.4/2001/63, Feb. 13, 2001) These extremist organizations utilize a variety of means of intimidation including, aggressive proselytism, harassment, threats, direct or indirect legal restrictions on religion and beliefs, physical violence and murder as has tragically occurred recently in many parts of our world. But extremist organizations do not operate effectively without active or tacit support from local or state governmental authorities.
When both religious intolerance and discrimination against already vulnerable minorities intersect, the offences are not merely cumulative but rather create a new and even more devastating violation of human rights.
Our delegation believes that in order to achieve the elimination of religious intolerance preventative long-range measures must be implemented, in particular through education. The youth of the world must be educated, at the earliest levels, to respect the rich diversity of genuine religious beliefs held by mankind. The beauty of a quilt is comprised of the unique and genuine nature of each thread – an appreciation of the diverse religions of the world enhances the fullness and completes the potentialities of the human being – religious intolerance and discrimination reduce, confine, subjugate and degrade civil society and human dignity.
As recently stated by Wilfred Cardinal Napier of Durban: “We must take upon ourselves the sins of world racism and religious intolerance.”
We call upon all leaders of institutions, governments, religions and civil society to engage in a respectful dialogue with a view towards achieving the goals of this World Conference to end racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
We must take positive action to assure that every human being will reach his or her divine destination in dignity, freedom and peace.
http://www.smom-za.org/wcar.htm (Proof Positive)
After cutting the ribbon at a new health and legal center at the Father Patrick H. O’Neill Center for Health and Legal Services at St. Ann Mission, Archbishop John C. Favalora hands the scissors to St. Thomas University law professor, Mark J. Wolff, a member of the Order of Malta, as Father Patrick H. O'Neill applauds and Father Pedro Garcia looks on.
MARK J. WOLFF
St. Thomas University School of Law
16401 N.W. 37th Avenue
Miami Gardens, Florida 33054
Investiture by American Association of the Sovereign Military Order
of Malta, His Eminence John Cardinal O'Connor (1993)
United Nations - New York, N.Y. Main Representative to United Nations, New York Office Pax Romana (ICMICA)
2004-Present Area Chairman & President (Florida), Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
Main Representative, Pax Romana (ICMICA) United Nations New York, New York 1 January 2004-Present
Delegate to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa, August 31 - September 9, 2001.
Intervention address presented to Plenary Session on September 3, 2001 on Behalf of The Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Rhodes.
http://www.stu.edu/IMG/pdf/wolffrez.pdf (Proof Positive II)