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The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

28 October 2016, New York – European Union Intervention at the 71st United Nations General Assembly Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Prof. Heiner Bielefeldt   

Thank you Madam Chair,

On behalf of the European Union, I would like to thank the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief for his valuable report on “Elimination of all forms of religious intolerance”.

We very much welcome the work of the Special Rapporteur, particularly his study on the broad range of violations of freedom of religion or belief, their root causes and patterns.

We particularly welcome the comments of the Special Rapporteur on the responsibility of Governments to address violations perpetrated by non-States actors and to protect people under their jurisdiction from any form of abuse. We also appreciate the articulation of the root causes of violations of freedom of religion or belief, including intolerant interpretations of religion or beliefs, and political, social and economic factors.

The EU continues to give high priority to the issue of freedom of religion or belief and of countering intolerance on the basis of religion or belief as part of the EU’s human rights policy. The EU is very concerned and condemns all forms of intolerance and violence against persons because of their religion and belief, wherever it takes place, including inside the EU.

Under these circumstances, the European Union would like to ask the Special Rapporteur:

  • Which examples of good practices can you share in order to tackle “concealed form of discrimination”?
  • Which measures could be taken by regional or international organizations to assist Governments to address the root causes of violations that you have identified in your report?

Thank you very much.

  • Ref: EUUN16-171EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Third Committee - Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
  • Date: 28/10/2016

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