Posted by: lauraannwilson | March 11, 2015

Human Rights Council 28th Session: 11 March 2015 – Plenary 9 am – Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

High Commissioner for Human Rights iDefend

Picture of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human Rights Council 28th Session: 11 March 2015 – Plenary 9 am

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief
Summary
States identified that hate speech, religious violence and terrorist attacks had increased in recent years, particularly in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. States condemned the recent attacks of violence and religious extremism. Russia condemned and expressed deep concern with the rise of attacks against Christians in Europe and the Middle East. States agreed that acts of violence must be universally condemned and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. Several States, including Fiji, commented that freedom of religion and belief was protected by State laws. States identified that the freedom of expression and freedom of religion and belief are interrelated and must be balanced. Bangladesh asked the panel for feedback on how the freedom of belief and religion and expression be balanced.

The UK and the US reflected on how these countries had worked with civil society and religious leaders to combat religious violence and extremism. The US reiterated that closed states ‘sow the seeds’ of religious intolerance and violence. The US stated ‘the best antidote to hate speech is more speech’. Several States, including the US, New Zealand, Morocco and Slovakia, highlighted that there was various root causes of religious extremism, and noted that the root causes must be addressed. States, including Algeria and Thailand, reiterated that religious violence and terrorism should not be associated with any one religion of belief. Norway and Germany highlighted the importance of the gendered dimension to religious expression and belief and combating extremism.

In his final comments, Mr Bielfeldt, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, stated that a lack of trust was the root cause of many of the world’s problems. He stated that countries must work together to build trust and to invest adequately in trust building. He reiterated that States bear the responsibility to build inclusive societies. Furthermore, that states must work towards creating inclusive spaces and overcome closed spaces, which would be in the interests of both the majority and minority religions. He stated that freedom of religion and belief cannot be pushed into the private realm. He reiterated that public displays of religious freedom must be promoted and this included allowing public display of religious edifices and dress. He hoped to conduct visits to the Central African Republic and Indonesia. He looked forward to a visit to Lebanon this week.

To watch the proceedings, please visit: webtv.un.org

image


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: