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UN Human Rights Council

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 54915, tabled on 25 November 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure that religious persecution is on the agenda for the next session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Answered on

5 December 2016

The promotion and protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief is a high priority for the UK. It was one of our pledges for re-election to the UN Human Rights Council in 2017-2019, and will inform our approach to Council sessions and UN Special Procedures. At the 34th Session in March 2017, we will work with likeminded partners to maintain consensus on the adoption and implementation of both the EU's 'Freedom of Religion or Belief' resolution and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's 'Combating Religious Intolerance' resolution, both of which we expect to be tabled at that session.

In addition, the new UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, will also present his first report. A dialogue with Member States will follow, giving the UK further opportunity to set out our support for his mandate and to draw attention to priority issues.