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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.3/55/SR.34
25 October 2000

Original: English

Third Committee

Summary record of the 34th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 25 October 2000, at 10 a.m.

Chairperson: Ms. Gittens-Joseph .............................. (Trinidad and Tobago)



Contents

Agenda item 105: Crime prevention and criminal justice (continued)

Agenda item 114: Human rights questions (continued)

(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (continued)

(c) Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (continued)

(d) Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (continued)

(e) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (continued)


The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.


/...

Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on religious intolerance (A/55/280 and Add.1 and 2)

Agenda item 114: Human rights questions (continued)

(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (continued) (A/55/177, 213 and Add.1, 214 and Add.1, 275 and Add.1, 279, 280 and Add.1 and 2, 283, 288, 289, 291, 292, 296 and Add.1, 302, 306, 328, 342, 360, A/55/395-S/2000/880, A/55/404-S/2000/889 and A/55/408; A/C.3/55/2)

(c) Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (continued) (A/55/269, A/55/282-S/2000/788, A/55/294, 318, 335, 346, 358, 359, 363, 374, 400, 403 and A/55/426-S/2000/913)

(d) Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (continued) (A/55/36 and A/55/438-S/2000/913)

(e) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (continued) (A/55/36)

/...

56. Mr. Al-Rubaie (Iraq) said that his Government had taken note of the observations of the Special Rapporteur. However, while the report focused on persecution and religious intolerance practised by Muslims, with particular attention to incidents involving such sects as the Baha’i and Jehovah’s Witnesses, it accorded no attention to the incidents of religious persecution and intolerance practised against Muslims and Muslim minorities in many parts of the world. In addition, the report paid scant attention to the desecration of Muslim tombs in Palestine, and made no mention at all of the blatant profanation of the Haram al-Sharif, one of the holiest Muslim sites in Palestine, by an extremist Jewish leader. His delegation decried the use of a selective approach with regard to any of the human-rights issues; selectivity and double standards inevitably undermined the credibility of the special rapporteurs. In the report under discussion, it prejudiced the human rights of all Muslims around the world. Religious intolerance was not inherently Muslim; on the contrary, the Koran explicitly taught tolerance and sensitivity towards the religious beliefs of others.

/...

67. The Government of Egypt had made concerted efforts to promote freedom of religion and belief, despite the existence of extremist elements. However, evidence of the longstanding religious discrimination against followers of the Baha’i continued to periodically resurface in the country. The events in El-Kosheh pointed to the importance of education in eliminating religious intolerance.

68. It was indeed vital to tackle the root causes of religious intolerance. In too many countries, young children continued to be taught contempt for the followers of other religions.

69. In response to the representative of Iraq, he said that a special rapporteur must be completely independent. He was concerned to work with all persecuted groups, including Muslims in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. He had taken particular care in his report to deal with allegations of religious intolerance in both the Occupied Territories and Israel. He would make no concessions: all allegations merited close scrutiny in the interests of the promotion and protection of human rights. As for recent events in the Middle East, he was not in a position to comment; an objective appraisal would be made in the field by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

/...

The meeting rose at 1.15 p.m.




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