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HRC Adopts by Consensus Resolution on Combatting Intolerance and Discrimination
March 23, 2012

Explanation of Position by the United States of America

Resolution:  Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief

Delivered by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe

UN Human Rights Council – 19th Session


The United States welcomes the consensus adoption of the resolution on combating intolerance, discrimination, and violence against persons based upon religion or belief. This marks the one-year anniversary of this resolution, which represents a significant step forward in the global dialogue on this pressing issue. We appreciate the spirit of collaboration shown by the sponsors of this resolution.

The United States strongly supports today’s resolution, which like its predecessor rejects broad prohibitions on speech, and supports actions that do not limit freedom of expression or infringe on the freedom of religion. This resolution demonstrates a desire to move the debate on shared challenges in a constructive and affirmative direction to ensure that all individuals enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Adoption of this resolution must be followed by sustained commitment.  At a time when violence and discrimination against members of religious minorities is all too common, we urge the international community to take action and implement the steps called for in this resolution.  We note the productive experts meeting held last December in Washington, DC on the topic of implementation, and we look forward to continuing to work with all interested parties on this important endeavor.