United Nations

A/RES/51/93


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

28 February 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 110 (b)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

            [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/619/Add.2)]


            51/93.      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,

      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,

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

      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,

      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/

      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,  

      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 intolerance, 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, 3/

      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, 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 subjected to torture or arbitrary arrest or detention;

      4.    Further 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 intolerance and to encourage, through the educational
system and by other means, understanding, tolerance and respect in
matters relating to freedom of religion or belief;

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

      6.    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;

      7.    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;

      8.    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;

      9.    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;

      10.   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;

      11.   Encourages the continued efforts on the part of the Special
Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on religious intolerance,
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;

      12.   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;

      13.   Also encourages Governments, when seeking the assistance of
the United Nations programme of advisory services and technical
assistance in the field of human rights, to consider, where
appropriate, including requests for assistance in the field of the
promotion and protection of the right to freedom of thought,
conscience and religion;

      14.   Welcomes and encourages the efforts of non-governmental
organizations and religious bodies and groups 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;

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

      16.   Requests the Special Rapporteur to submit an interim report
to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session;

      17.   Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the Special
Rapporteur receives the necessary staffing, financial and material
resources to enable him to discharge in full and on time his mandate;

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


                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


                                     Notes

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

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

3/    See E/CN.4/1994/79, para. 103.

 

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:55:20
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org