United Nations

A/RES/50/183


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

6 March 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 112 (b)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

            [on the report of the Third Committee (A/50/635/Add.2)]


            50/183.     Elimination of all forms of religious 
                        intolerance

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling that all States have pledged themselves, under the
Charter of the United Nations, to promote and encourage universal
respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms
for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

      Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of
the human person,

      Emphasizing that the right to freedom of thought, conscience,
religion and belief is far-reaching and profound and that it
encompasses freedom of thought on all matters, personal conviction and
the commitment to religion or belief, whether manifested individually
or in community with others,

      Recalling article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights,  1/

      Reaffirming that discrimination against human beings on the
grounds of religion or belief constitutes an affront to human dignity
and a disavowal of the principles of the Charter,

      Reaffirming its resolution 36/55 of 25 November 1981, by which it
proclaimed the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of
Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief,

      Reaffirming the call of the World Conference on Human Rights for
all Governments to take all appropriate measures in compliance with
their international obligations and with due regard to their
respective legal systems to counter intolerance and related violence
based on religion or belief, including practices of discrimination
against women and the desecration of religious sites, recognizing that
every individual has the right to freedom of thought, conscience,
expression and religion,  2/

      Recalling that the World Conference on Human Rights recognized
that the process of promoting and protecting human rights should be
conducted in conformity with the purposes and principles of the
Charter and international law,  3/

      Calling upon all Governments to cooperate with the Special
Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on religious intolerance
to enable him to carry out his mandate fully,

      Recognizing that it is desirable to enhance the promotional and
public information activities of the United Nations in matters
relating to freedom of religion or belief and that both Governments
and non-governmental organizations have an important role to play in
this domain,

      Emphasizing that non-governmental organizations and religious
bodies and groups at every level have an important role to play in the
promotion of tolerance and the protection of freedom of religion or
belief,

      Conscious of the importance of education in ensuring tolerance of
religion and belief,

      Welcoming the inclusion of events relating to tolerance and
religious diversity among the activities undertaken during the United
Nations Year for Tolerance,


      Alarmed that serious instances of intolerance and discrimination
on the grounds of religion or belief, including acts of violence,
intimidation and coercion motivated by religious extremism, occur in
many parts of the world and threaten the enjoyment of human rights and
fundamental freedoms,

      Deeply concerned that, as reported by the Special Rapporteur, the
rights violated on religious grounds include the right to life, the
right to physical integrity and to liberty and security of person, the
right to freedom of expression, the right not to be subjected to
torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
and the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained,

      Believing that further efforts are therefore required to promote
and protect the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and
belief and to eliminate all forms of hatred, intolerance and
discrimination based on religion or belief,

      1.    Reaffirms that freedom of thought, conscience, religion and
belief is a human right derived from the inherent dignity of the human
person and guaranteed to all without discrimination;

      2.    Urges States to ensure that their constitutional and legal
systems provide adequate and effective guarantees of freedom of
thought, conscience, religion and belief to all without
discrimination, including the provision of effective remedies in cases
where the right to freedom of religion or belief is violated;

      3.    Also urges States to ensure, in particular, that no one
within their jurisdiction is, because of their religion or belief,
deprived of the right to life or the right to liberty and security of
person, or is subjected to torture or arbitrary arrest or detention;

      4.    Condemns all instances of hatred, intolerance and acts of
violence, intimidation and coercion motivated by religious extremism
and intolerance of religion or belief;

      5.    Urges States, in conformity with international standards of
human rights, to take all necessary action to prevent such instances,
to take all appropriate measures to combat hatred, intolerance and
acts of violence, intimidation and coercion motivated by religious
extremism and to encourage understanding, tolerance and respect in
matters relating to freedom of religion or belief;

      6.    Recognizes that legislation alone is not enough to prevent
violations of human rights, including the right to freedom of religion
or belief;

      7.    Emphasizes that, as underlined by the Human Rights
Committee, restrictions on the freedom to manifest religion or belief
are permitted only if limitations are prescribed by law, are necessary
to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental
rights and freedoms of others, and are applied in a manner that does
not vitiate the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;

      8.    Urges States to ensure that, in the course of their official
duties, members of law enforcement bodies, civil servants, educators
and other public officials respect different religions and beliefs and
do not discriminate against persons professing other religions or
beliefs;

      9.    Calls upon all States to recognize, as provided in the
Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of
Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, the right of all persons
to worship or assemble in connection with a religion or belief, and to
establish and maintain places for those purposes;

      10.   Expresses its grave concern at any attack upon religious
places, sites and shrines, and calls upon all States, in accordance
with their national legislation and in conformity with international
human rights standards, to exert utmost efforts to ensure that such
places, sites and shrines are fully respected and protected;

      11.   Recognizes that the exercise of tolerance and non-
discrimination by persons and groups is necessary for the full
realization of the aims of the Declaration;

      12.   Considers it desirable to enhance the promotional and public
information activities of the United Nations in matters relating to
freedom of religion or belief and to ensure that appropriate measures
are taken to this end, including the dissemination, as a matter of
high priority, of the text of the Declaration by United Nations
information centres, as well as by other interested bodies;

      13.   Encourages the continued efforts on the part of the Special
Rapporteur appointed to examine incidents and governmental actions in
all parts of the world that are incompatible with the provisions of
the Declaration and to recommend remedial measures as appropriate;

      14.   Invites the Special Rapporteur, within the terms of his
mandate and in the context of recommending remedial measures, to take
into account the experiences of various States as to which measures
are most effective in promoting freedom of religion and belief and
countering all forms of intolerance;

      15.   Encourages Governments to give serious consideration to
inviting the Special Rapporteur to visit their countries so as to
enable him to fulfil his mandate even more effectively;

      16.   Recommends that the promotion and protection of the right to
freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief be given
appropriate priority in the work of the United Nations programme of
advisory services in the field of human rights, including with regard
to the drafting of legal texts in conformity with international
instruments on human rights and taking into account the provisions of
the Declaration;

      17.   Welcomes and encourages the efforts of non-governmental
organizations to promote the implementation of the Declaration, and
invites them to consider what further contribution they could make to
its implementation and dissemination in all parts of the world;

      18.   Requests the Commission on Human Rights to continue its
consideration of measures to implement the Declaration;

      19.   Requests the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human
Rights to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its
fifty-first session;

      20.   Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the Special
Rapporteur receives the necessary staffing and financial and material
resources to enable him to discharge his mandate;

      21.   Decides to consider the question of the elimination of all
forms of religious intolerance at its fifty-first session under the
item entitled "Human rights questions".


                                                          99th plenary meeting
                                                              22 December 1995


                                     Notes

1/          See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

2/          See A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III, sect. II, para. 22.

3/          Ibid., sect. I, para. 7.

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