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United Nations

S/RES/01 (2013)

General Assembly: SOCHUM

Submitted by: Russian Federation Signatories: People's Republic of China, Kingdom of Morocco, Republic of Italy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Arab Republic of Syria, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Turkey, Kingdom of Sweden, Islamic Republic of Iran, State of Israel, Swiss Confederation, Malaysia, Federal Republic of Nigeria, State of Kuwait, State of Libya, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Uganda, Ukraine. The General Assembly: Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, Aware of the consequences of defamation of religion on society, including but not limited to widespread violence, destruction of property, injuries and threats to human life, and social tension and capital punishment in some member states; Expressing deep concern and refusal to accept both acts of intentional religious defamation, and acts of violence arising in response to perceived discrimination; Opposing all acts of defamation, including but not limited to making derogatory statements, deliberately twisting the meaning of religious texts with malicious intent, or using physical means to discredit, towards any religion; Recognizing the human right to free speech and freedom of expression, as well as the need to respect such freedoms and the desire of some countries to preserve such freedoms absolutely; Stressing that defamation of religion and the incitement of religious hatred in general is a serious affront to human dignity, and a restriction to the human right of freedom of religious belief and practice, as well as an affront towards religions themselves; Further stressing that such defamation and incitement of religious hatred cannot be justified as freedom of expression; Bearing in mind that the right to freedom of speech is not mutually exclusive with prohibiting the defamation of religion; Welcoming all international, domestic and regional initiatives to promote intercultural, and interfaith dialog, understanding and cooperation, including but not limited to the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week;

Desiring to uphold a balance between maintaining the freedom of expression and preventing the defamation of religions in general; Emphasising that international cooperation is integral to maintain the balance of freedoms of speech and religions, to avoiding abuse of initiatives to prevent defamation of religion or achieve freedom of expression, and to prevent both defamation itself and the consequences of defamation of religion in all member states; 1. Defines the defamation of religion as slander by the communication (verbal, written, technological, physical or otherwise) of inaccurate, derogatory, or untrue statements towards any religion, faith, belief, or means of worship with the malicious intent of discriminating against, causing harm, affronting, damaging the reputation of, or creating opposition towards that religion in forms such as, but not limited to, hate speech and propaganda; 2. Recommends the establishment of a focus-group that will oversee the implementation of international anti-defamation of religion laws without infringing on the freedoms of expression and speech, which tolerates intellectual criticism but not offensive or derogatory expression upon any legitimate religious beliefs; 3. Insists that defamation should not be permitted to any religion regardless of whether the religion is not the official religion of the state or is considered illegal in the eyes of a state; 4. Urges countries to review religious defamation laws and implement adequate punishment for the violation of said laws without infringing on universal freedom of speech or abusing the laws with intents of, including but not limited to, censorship or criminalising speech unrelated to defamation of religion but which certain countries wish to outlaw; 5. Deplores all acts of violence against and in defense of a religion;

6. Promotes discussion and action from and involving the international community, including but not limited to all countries, religious groups, social organisations or NGOs, to achieve compromise regarding the question of taking collective or international action towards defamation of religion, and improve mutual communication and dialogue; 7. Emphasises the need for mutual respect towards states of varying social, cultural, religious or political positions or affiliations, as well as religious beliefs and practices, without enacting restrictions which may undermine the political or religious stance, or current constitution of certain states; 8. 9. Calls for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be respected; Decides to remain actively seized upon in this matter.