Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief (10.03.22)

UN Human Rights Council, 49th session

Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

Statement by Denmark on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries

10 March 2022


I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for his report and for providing valuable insights. We are deeply concerned by systematic human rights abuses directed at religious minorities in recent and ongoing conflicts.

We welcome attempts at a nuanced discourse on the relationship between religion and conflicts. While recognizing that many conflicts have underlying economic, political and even environmental drivers, religious extremism is also an important driver for conflict. We witness that in parts of Western Africa, Africa’s Horn, the Middle East and elsewhere.

We stress the need to fulfil obligations to prohibit and prevent discrimination, hostility, or violence based on religion or belief, including in the context of Russia‘s ongoing illegal aggression against Ukraine, and urge Russia to refrain from any such acts. We condemn Russia‘s aggression in the strongest possible terms and reiterate our full solidarity with Ukraine and its people.

We support your call for including minority religious actors in the prevention of conflict, strengthening resilience, and promoting inclusive and just reconciliation. More could be done to include moderate faith leaders and interfaith engagements in efforts to prevent religious extremism.

Mr. Special Rapporteur, how do you see our possibilities to engage with moderate faith-based actors to prevent increasing religious extremism from driving conflict and human rights abuses?

Thank you.