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UN Human Right Council 55: Statement on Freedom of Religion and Belief

UK Statement for Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

Thank you, Mr President.

The United Kingdom thanks the Special Rapporteur for her work to promote and protect freedom of religion or belief for all.

Freedom of religion or belief remains a priority for our bilateral and multilateral work and was among our national pledges to mark last year’s anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Following the 2022 UK-hosted international Ministerial conference on freedom of religion or belief, we pledged to build coalitions. We continue to turn these words into action. In June 2023, we led with the UAE Security Council resolution 2686 which directly addresses, for the first time, the persecution of religious minorities in conflict settings. We also work to strengthen freedom of religion or belief through the International Contact Group and the International Religious Freedom and Belief Alliance, which we chaired for 2 years.

More must be done. The scale and severity of violations and abuses of freedom of religion or belief globally remains deeply concerning, including for the Baha’i community in Yemen and Iran, the Ahmadis in Pakistan and the Roman Catholic Church in Nicaragua. We must work collaboratively to unite around an approach that respects all human rights.

Special Rapporteur,

How can the international community increase collaborative efforts to protect freedom of religion or belief?

Published 6 March 2024