Remarks on U.S. Priorities at Opening of UN Human Rights Council 22
March 08, 2013
From the U.S. State Department:
Another remarkable advance was Resolution 16/18, through which the Council – after years of chronic division – came together to combat religious intolerance, including discrimination and violence. We applaud the leadership that Turkey, Pakistan, and other countries have shown on this resolution, and appreciate as well the support of the OIC Secretary-General. The international consensus on this issue offers a practical and effective means to fight intolerance, while avoiding the false choice of restricting the complementary and mutually-dependent freedoms of religion and expression. In today’s networked world, hateful, insulting, and intolerant speech can be marginalized and defeated, not by less speech, but by more, only by encouraging positive and respectful expression. Countless examples have taught us that attempting to outlaw free expression is as dangerous as it is ineffective. That is why Resolution 16/18’s catalogue of positive tools to fight intolerance – including education, nondiscrimination laws, and protecting places of worship – is so important, and why we must all continue our joint efforts to translate this consensus into concrete implementation of those policies. This pursuit of honest, open dialogue among member states was one of the themes I pledged the United States would pursue during our first term on the Council, and we will continue to do so during the coming three years.
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