7th meeting of the Istanbul Process – Combatting religious intolerance: Building inclusive and resilient societies, and pushing back against incitement to hatred and violence
The main intergovernmental policy framework for combatting religious intolerance against persons based on religion or belief is set down in Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 and its sister resolution at the General Assembly – GA resolution 66/167. Resolutions 16/18 and 66/167 were adopted by consensus in 2011, and hailed by stakeholders from all regions and faiths as an important step forward. After 65 years of often-difficult debates and negotiations at the UN, the twin resolutions elaborated the first and only universally-accepted global policy framework for preventing and combatting intolerance, discrimination, stigmatisation, incitement to violence and violence, on the basis of religion or belief.
The inclusion of an explicit plan of action to combat religious intolerance in the operative paragraphs of the twin resolutions (as well as in later iterations of the texts) is key to understanding their value and importance. What is more, States had the foresight to also put in place a dedicated mechanism of implementation for the action plan: the ‘Istanbul Process.’ Since the launch of the Process in Istanbul, Turkey in July 2011, there have been six expert-level meetings: in Washington (US), London (UK and Canada), Geneva (OIC), Doha (Qatar), Jeddah (OIC), and Singapore. In April 2019, Denmark and the European Union organised a ‘stock taking’ meeting in Geneva, to discuss progress over the course of those six meetings.
The 7th meeting of the Istanbul Process will be hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the The Netherlands with the support of the Universal Rights Group on 18 and 19 November 2019 in The Hague. The meeting will focus on the following broad theme:
Combatting religious intolerance: Building inclusive and resilient societies, and pushing back against incitement to hatred and violence.
In line with this broad focus, the meeting will cover two main subthemes:
- Pro-active approach: building tolerant, inclusive and resilient societies; and
- Incitement to religious hatred and violence: pushing back
More information on the meeting can be found in the following documents:
- Concept note
- Draft programme
- Background paper for the subtheme: ‘Pro-active approach: building tolerant, inclusive and resilient societies’
- Background paper for the subtheme: ‘Incitement to religious hatred and violence: pushing back’
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