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Religious Freedom

Good morning. Thank we all for entrance here for what we wish will be a initial in a array of meetings that will allege honour for eremite freedom and eremite toleration around a world. we am Suzan Johnson Cook, a U.S. Ambassador during Large for International Religious Freedom, and we am respected to be your horde for a subsequent 3 days.

Before we begin, we would like to salute a many people, governments, and organizations here currently who worked so tough to pass Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, “Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization Of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence, and Violence Against Persons Based on Religion or Belief.” That ancestral fortitude was adopted by accord in Geneva in March. As Secretary Clinton pronounced in Istanbul in July, by flitting it, “We have begun to overcome a fake order that pits eremite sensitivities opposite freedom of expression.”

The ubiquitous village reinforced a suggestion of Resolution 16/18 during a UN General Assembly, where a UNGA Third Committee adopted a identical fortitude by consensus. we wish to appreciate all of those who done that breakthrough possible, generally a Ambassadors from Geneva and New York who are with us here today.

Resolution 16/18 cumulative an ubiquitous accord around an action-oriented proceed to fight eremite dogmatism in line with honour for concept tellurian rights—including eremite freedom and freedom of expression.

The fortitude calls on states to take specific measures to fight eremite intolerance. The concentration of this doing assembly is identifying best practices on prohibiting taste opposite people formed on religion or belief, training supervision officials to equivocate taste in their central duties, putting coercion mechanisms in place and enchanting with members of eremite communities.

It is critical that experts like you, practitioners of tellurian rights protection, law enforcement, and village relations, share your views and sell information on how to strengthen eremite minorities.

You paint over 30 countries and a far-reaching operation of ubiquitous organizations, including a European Union, a UN Office of a High Commissioner for Human Rights, a Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and a Organization of Islamic Cooperation. With this kind of expertise, we can make swell on implementing this resolution. History will decider us not by a resolutions we pass – though by either we put these resolutions into practice. As a famous American abolitionist Wendell Phillips once remarked, “Governments exist for a purpose of safeguarding a rights of minorities.” Those rights embody a right to trust and a right use a religion not authorised by a state — or no religion during all.

Though we come from a far-reaching operation of backgrounds, this resolution, representing a accord of a ubiquitous community, unites us in a common purpose. This purpose is to allege eremite freedom, foster eremite tolerance, and fight taste on a basement of religion or belief—consistent with concept tellurian rights principles. This means a joining to strengthen eremite minorities and strengthen freedom of expression. Fighting taste and improving honour for eremite freedom also creates a meridian of toleration that promotes stability, amicable harmony, and security.

We know that some people crush several eremite doctrines to transparent intolerance, sustain violence, or emanate struggle that serves their slight domestic purposes. We contingency malign descent discuss whenever we confront it – though a joining to concept beliefs creates transparent that faith contingency never be a crime and religion contingency never be used as an forgive to suppress freedom of expression.

Secretary Clinton put it this approach in a Feb discuss on Internet freedom: “Some take a perspective that, to inspire tolerance, some horrible ideas contingency be silenced by governments. We trust that efforts to quell a calm of discuss frequency attain and mostly turn an forgive to violate freedom of expression. Instead, as it has historically been proven time and time again, a improved answer to descent discuss is some-more speech. People can and should pronounce out opposite dogmatism and hatred. By exposing ideas to debate, those with consequence tend to be strengthened, while diseased and fake ideas tend to blur away; maybe not instantly, though eventually.”

In this country, eremite freedom is guaranteed in a Constitution’s Bill of Rights. We continue to work during improving honour for a eremite farrago and safeguarding freedom of expression. Yet we continue to see people concerned in acts of intolerance, and attempts to distinguish opposite other eremite groups. They customarily get far-reaching coverage in a giveaway press, and yet, we have freedom of expression and use effective measures to understanding with these issues that are unchanging with a stairs endorsed in Resolution 16/18. Complacency is not an option.

Over a subsequent 3 days, we find straightforward discussions that will assistance a governments foster tolerance, fight taste and violence, and assistance us learn from any others’ experiences. Resolution 16/18 is a roadmap. Our bulletin for a subsequent 3 days is to try how to use that map to exercise a fortitude in ways that will titillate conditions for all of a citizens.

Today, we will reason full sessions where we will accommodate your counterparts from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice. They will share with we how a approaches to these problems are evolving, what we have adopted from other countries, and how we blending formed on experience. On Tuesday and Wednesday, a meetings will be divided into dual tracks. The initial lane will try effective supervision strategies to rivet eremite minorities. This contention will embody methods for training supervision officials on eremite and informative awareness. The second lane will try ways to improved make laws that demarcate taste on a basement of religion or belief. We titillate members of your commission to attend in both marks to safeguard that we constraint a full operation of opinions and ideas we all represent.

Following this conference, we will accumulate a set of best practices that will be submitted to a Office of a High Commissioner of Human Rights to be common with States and a ubiquitous public.

This is a ancestral event for all of a countries to make petrify advances in compelling toleration and combating a taste and assault that blights so many lives. we acquire we to Washington as together we find ways to foster mutual honour between governments and adults of all religions, creeds, and beliefs. Thank you.


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