Human Rights Council – 52nd session
Item 3 - Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief
Statement delivered by Iceland on behalf of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden
13 March 2023
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.
We thank the special rapporteur for her inclusive approach, demonstrating how freedom of religion or belief can be traced back to many different sources.
Yet, these different sources converge in highlighting the need for mutual understanding and respect. We wish to clearly signal today, that we disassociate with all actions by individuals, which only aim to hurt and provoke. We find them disturbing and disrespectful.
Fortunately, as displayed in the report, elaborate human rights norms exist on freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression. While they cannot prevent all incidents, they provide a clear human rights approach to tackle challenges in our interconnected world. We recall our full commitment to these standards and to our collective efforts to promote and protect them.
Madame Special Rapporteur, you give a thorough overview of ongoing work on freedom of religion or belief, also in the regional organisations. How do you plan to work with them to ensure a coherent approach?
Looking ahead, how will you address the intersectionality between freedom of religion or belief and gender equality throughout your mandate?