High-Level Panel Discussion on Combatting Global Religious Intolerance and Discrimination
On 12th February 2015, the Universal Rights Group welcomed over 100 Ambassadors, diplomats, UN officials and NGO leaders to a half-day panel discussion on ‘Combatting global religious intolerance and discrimination: the role of the Human Rights Council and the implementation of resolution 16/18.’
The event, which took place in Geneva, offered participants a unique opportunity to engage in an interactive dialogue with key policymakers involved in the development and implementation of resolution 16/18 and the Istanbul Process, and to discuss related initiatives such as the Rabat Plan of Action.
We were honoured to have the Ambassadors of Pakistan, Turkey, the US and the UK – the four states responsible for the drafting of this break-through resolution – on our high-level panel, and to receive insights, comments and examples of best-practice from state representatives from all regions. Importantly, the Ambassador of Chile announced that Chile will host an Istanbul Process meeting in Santiago in November 2015.
Dr. Nazila Ghanea also presented the key findings and recommendations of the recent URG policy report, “Combatting Global Religious Intolerance: the implementation of resolution 16/18“. In her presentation (available here), Dr. Ghanea reflected on the 66 years of debate and disagreement at the UN before the international community finally managed to construct a workable, balanced and consensus-based approach to combatting religious intolerance (the 16/18 action plan and implementation process). In light of this fraught history, Dr. Ghanea emphasised the importance of the International community responding to recent examples of religious intolerance (e.g. ISIS atrocities, hostage-taking in Sydney, Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, anti-Islam demonstrations in Germany, attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris), and to wider escalation of religious tension and violence around the world, by reaffirming its common and united stance (resolution 16/18) and by redoubling its efforts to implement this consensus-based policy framework.
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