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Now is the Time

 

 

 


GENEVA: this is the final report of Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to the UN Human Rights Council. Ms. Jahangir’s mandate will conclude in June and a new UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief will be appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. UN Member States congratulated Ms. Jahangir on the excellent work she has done over the six years of her mandate. However, tensions since 2007 on the UN Human Rights Council over defamation of religion and the right to leave a religion continue and the inter-active dialogue with Egypt in the 13th session reflects this. The Tandem Project will participate in a dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief at the UN Human Rights Council on Monday 15 March 2010.

THE TANDEM PROJECT

http://www.tandemproject.com.

http://www.wunrn.com

 

UNITED NATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS,

FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF

The Tandem Project is a UN NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

 

FINAL REPORT OF THE UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON FREEDOM OF

RELIGION OR BELIEF TO THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL IN GENEVA

 

Available in other languages: click here if the language box does not display.

 

Issue:  Is Awareness, Understanding and Use of an Inclusive and Genuine Approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief possible at international, national and local levels?

 

For: United Nations, Governments, Religions or Beliefs, Academia, NGOs, Media, Civil Society.

 

Review: Report and Clustered Inter-active Dialogue on the report of Asma Jahangir,  UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, before the UN Human Rights Council on 11 March 2010.

 

Report & Dialogue: UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/archive.asp?go=100311

 

Open this link for the reports of Asma Jahangir with links to her Summary of Cases Transmitted to Governments and their replies; Mission of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Republic of Serbia; including Kosovo; and Mission to Lao People’s Democratic Republic. This link includes Inter-Active Dialogue with UN Member States.

 

Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief
Ms. Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur

A/HRC/13/40, A/HRC/13/40/Add.1, A/HRC/13/40/Add.2, A/HRC/13/40/Add.3, A/HRC/13/40/Add.4, A/HRC/13/NGO/61, A/HRC/13/NGO/73, A/HRC/13/NGO/76, A/HRC/13/NGO/77

Egypt
Mr. Omar Shalabi

[English]

 

Closing Remarks

Ms. Asma Jahangir
[English]

  Inter-active response by the Special Rapporteur to questions addressed to her by UN Member States including a frank and respectful response to Egypt and answers to questions on her: mandate; indigenous religions, taboo’s, preventive measures, women, conversion, symbols and quality education.

 

The Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in the high level dialogue for the 13th session of the UN Human Rights Council, gave this address on Freedom of Expression. This address which initiated a Right of Reply by Egypt illustrates the tensions between UN Member States on this issue.

 

Sweden
H.E. Mr. Frank Belfrage
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs

[English]

 

The General Assembly: Vote on Defamation of Religions

 

Human rights are individual and universal and cannot be compromised by culture, religion or belief. The Tandem Project Survey Questionnaire on Freedom of Religion or Belief encourages UN Member States to continue their dialogue to try to reach consensus, not compromise, on what constitutes inclusive and genuine approaches to freedom of religion or belief. The Survey Questionnaire (attached) is addressed to participants in a Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief during the 13th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

 

Attachments: Freedom of Religion or Belief – Mandate without a Consensus; Freedom of Opinion and Expression; Survey Questionnaire – addressed to participants in the Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Palais des Nations, Public,  XXVII, 1:00 p.m. 15 March 2010 sponsored by Conscience and Peace Tax International.

 


 

The Tandem Project is a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1986 to build understanding, tolerance and respect for diversity, and to prevent discrimination in matters relating to freedom of religion or belief. The Tandem Project has sponsored multiple conferences, curricula, reference materials and programs on Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion - and 1981 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

 

The Tandem Project is a UN NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

 

Surely one of the best hopes for humankind is to embrace a culture in which religions and other beliefs accept one another, in which wars and violence are not tolerated in the name of an exclusive right to truth, in which children are raised to solve conflicts with mediation, compassion and understanding.  

 

In 1968 the UN deferred work on an International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance because of the sensitivity and complexity of reconciling a human rights treaty with dissonant worldviews and voices on religion or belief. Instead, in 1981 the United Nations adopted a non-binding Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief in support of Article 18:  http://www.tandemproject.com/program/81_dec.htm.

 

Separation of Religion or Belief and State

 

Separation of Religion or Belief and State reflects the far-reaching scope of UN General Comment 22 on Article 18: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1993, UN Human Rights Committee. 
http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/9a30112c27d1167cc12563ed004d8f15?Opendocument

 

Inclusive and genuine dialogue on human rights and freedom of religion or belief are between people of theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right of persons not to profess any religion or belief. It calls for discussion on: awareness, understanding, acceptance; cooperation, competition, conflict; respectful discourse, taboos and clarity by persons of diverse beliefs.

 

Does Religion or Belief Trump Human Rights or Human Rights Trump Religion or Belief?

 

Universal human rights with limitations protect all religions or beliefs; all religions or beliefs do not protect human rights. In this respect human rights trump religion or belief to protect individuals against all forms of discrimination on grounds of religion or belief by the State, institutions, groups of persons and persons. After forty years suffering, violence and conflict based on religion or belief has increased in many parts of the world.  The two options are to continue trying to gradually reduce intolerance and discrimination or to strengthen protection by calling for a new international treaty deferred since 1968.

 

Is it time for the UN to draft a legally binding International Convention on Freedom of Religion or Belief: United Nations History – Freedom of Religion or Belief.

 

Freedom of Religion or Belief in Tandem with Human Rights