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Hong Kong Model United Nations 2013

GA SOCHUM

Forum: General Assembly Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee Issue: Defamation of Religion

Chair: Tiffany Chung Rapporteur: Michael Xu

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Table of Contents
Angola 3 Argentina .5 Brazil ..6 China ......8 Georgia .........9 Germany ...........10 India ............11 Iran ...13 Israel ...........14 Italy ..15 Japan .......16 Kenya ......17 Kuwait ...............18 Libya ...........19 Malaysia ........20 Morocco ........21 Nigeria ..................23 Palestine Liberation Organization (observer) ......25 Philippines ......26 Russia .....27 Saudi Arabia ...28 South Korea ....29 Sweden ......30 Switzerland .31 Syria ..............................32 Turkey .......33 Uganda .....................34 Ukraine .........35 United States of America ...........36

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Angola
Relevant documents concerning the Defamation of Religion. In July 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Committee the general comment 34, and in paragraph 48, it would be impermissible for any laws to discriminate in favor of or against one or certain religions or belief systems, or their adherents over another, or religious believers over non-believers. Nor would it be permissible for such prohibitions to be used to prevent or punish criticism of religious leaders or commentary on religious doctrine and tenets of faith. Documents concerning freedom of religion in Angola. From the International Religious Freedom Report 2008 on Angola, it was quoted that The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contributed to the generally free practice of religion. And the Government generally respected religious freedom in practice. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the Government during the period covered by this report. Although it was written that There were isolated reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice, the problem of defamation of religion is not really that significant in Angola. Defamation of Religion within Angola and Status of Religion in Angola. The majority of the population is Christian, and of those, Roman Catholics are the largest religious group. The Catholic Church estimates that 55 percent of the population is Catholic, but this figure cannot be verified. A small Muslim community was also found, estimated at 80,000-90,000 adherents. The law does not restrict any peaceful actions of any religion, including witchcraft. It should be noted that the status of religion is not that perfect. In November 2007 the Government hosted a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Religion and Belief. Her report criticized the lack of opportunity for detained Muslims to worship in detention centers, noted occasional anti-Muslim rhetoric taken by government officials in media interviews. But still, there were no reports of forced religious conversion, improvements and positive developments in respect for religious freedom were also found after encountering difficulties in 2006; Muslim leaders are permitted to operate freely in Mosques during the reporting period. Views of Angola upon Defamation of Religion. Angola voted in favor of the motion on the resolutions to Defamation of Religion in 2009, while opposition thinks that to extend defamation beyond its proper scope would jeopardize the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of expression on religious subjects, despite being the only Christian country to do so among other Islamic countries. There was a clear split since year 2001, with the Islamic bloc and much of the developing world supporting the resolutions, and mostly Western democracies opposing. Religious defamation debates in U.N often focus on Islam. Supporters of restrictions on religious defamation point to the potential for violence caused by religious intolerance and the need to defend the integrity of cultures; opponents, in contrast, see them as restraints on religious freedom and freedom of speech. 3

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Several Reasons why Angola is supporting. Almost half of their supporters in recent years have been non-Muslim states, and Angola is one of them (Christianity). 1. Third World solidarity: without peace and tolerance to the Third World/ Developing Countries, improvements or progress in Education, Health and Poverty shall be stifled and impossible or at least very difficult to achieve. 2. Support for the resolutions is strongest among non-democratic states. 3. Undemocratic regimes with close ties between religion and the state. In these states, the regime rules on the basis of religion, depends on the support of conservative religious groups, and/or restricts religious practices in order to ensure the official religious tradition prevails and its power base is maintained. This can give conservative religious groups influence over state behavior and the state an incentive to champion religious causes. Angola thinks that without resolutions on Defamation of Religion, the people in third world countries will not be in peace, hindering the improvements and progress in Education and Development. They also oppose western countries of providing cover for abusive national blasphemy laws. Resolution 16/18 urges states to train government officials to address religious tensions, to harmonize actions at local and national level, to raise awareness of negative stereotyping of persons, to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue, to foster religious freedom and to speak out against intolerance (among other recommendations. The only limitation on speech that is in the operative part of the resolution is incitement to imminent violence, which is in accordance with US law.

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Argentina
Argentina strongly opposes any form of defamation of religion and understands it is a serious and delicate issue that concerns international relations and freedom of religion. It regards the acts of blasphemy absolutely unrighteous. Defamation of religion generally comprises of negative, hurtful and untrue speeches or actions directed at a particular religion. Differences in cultural backgrounds, political positions, religious traditions or in other aspects cause religious groups to conflict with each other, often resulting in dire consequences, such as the Second Sudanese Civil War fought between Muslims and Christians in Sudan, and the Lebanese Civil War between Sunnis, Shiites and Christians. At present, there is no internationally agreed definition on defamation of religion and Argentina believes that there is a need to strike a balance between freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Argentina holds the view that anti-defamation clauses must be established to ensure safety of various religious groups and international peaceful relations. Argentina highly values the freedom of religion and fully acknowledges the right of expressing religious associations. Argentina values diversity of religion and certainly wishes not to see its people live in fear that conflicts and wars will break out because of false and offensive religious speeches or actions from one group of people to another. This is best shown through the constitution of Argentina, which guarantees freedom of speech under several articles. For example article 14 establishes that all the inhabitants of the nation are entitled to profess their religion. Article 19 establishes that private actions of men which in no way offend public order or morality, nor injure a third party, are only reserved to God and are exempted from the authority of judges. No inhabitant of the nation shall be obliged to perform what the law does not demand nor deprived of what it does not prohibit. Our law provides the legal framework for religious freedom. Furthermore, Argentina takes an active role in promoting freedom of religion while ensuring that adherents will not inflict discrimination or harm against others religion. Argentina celebrates its Religions Freedom Day on 25th November every year; it conducts regular meetings with representatives of religious groups; The National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism (INADI), a government agency under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry, whose board includes representatives of the major religious groups, investigated violations of a law that prohibits discrimination based on religion and other factors. The agency also supported victims of discrimination and promoted proactive measures to prevent discrimination. Argentina takes pride in the 2011 United Nations on International Religious Freedom, There were no reports of abuses of religious freedom. Argentina stands firm on its opposition towards defamation of religion. This delegation will define defamation of religion and strive to establish a balance between freedom of religion and freedom of speech and hopes that all nations will come into a consensus against religious defamation. We will continue our work in creating a world free from defamation of religion by creating more platforms for representatives of different religious groups to better communicate and to exchange ideas, such as the regular meetings held by the federal government. Argentina urges all states to treasure religious diversity and help entitle all religious groups equal protection and rights against defamation. 5

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Brazil
As there exists numerous religious groups in the world, there have been innumerable conflicts between different religions. Religious defamation, which is an action of lowering the reputation of such religions, has been a complicated problem among nations, and has caused a lot of debates in the past and even nowadays. Cases of religious defamation is also a major issue in Brazil as the country happens to possess numerous religions. According to the NGO Jewish Federation, on March 12 2011 a man verbally threatened and physically assaulted a Jewish man walking in the Jardins neighborhood of Sao Paulo. On May 2010, a retired police chief got arrested for ridiculing the religious garb of a Muslim woman. Anti-Semitic websites are continuously operating. Since this is the case, the Brazilian government has generated solutions to not only solve, but to prevent further occasions. The actions, which the Brazilian government has took in order to protect religious freedom and tolerance, was the passing of bills, launching interfaith events, and the establishments of organizations. One of the bills that were passed prohibits the writing, publishing, and selling of literature that promotes religious intolerance, provides penalties of up to five years in prison for crimes of religious intolerance, and enables courts to fine or imprison for two to five years anyone who displays, distributes or broadcasts religiously intolerant material. Another bill, which is called the Racial Equality Act, provides people to freely practice religions of African origin. As for the launching of interfaith events, in order to maintain the harmony amongst the people of different religion, the government has organized some events where people of different religion came together, for example events such as the Abraham Path Initiative. This international interfaith NGO(nongovernmental organization) endorsed by the UN held annual events friendship runs that brought Jews, Christians, and Muslims together to increase understanding among them; over 3,000 people have participated in the event held in 2011 in Sao Paulo. Another interfaith movement called Walk against Religious intolerance, held in Rio de Janeiro, brought together diverse religious and nonreligious groups, including Muslims, Jews, Christians, Spiritualists, and atheists. The walk gathered more than 180,000 participants in 2011. Finally for the establishment of organizations, the National Commission for Religious Dialogue brought Christian and Jews together, and the National Council of Christian Churches brought together Catholics and Protestants. As these reforms took place, there has been a massive increase in both the freedom and the tolerance of religion in Brazil. There are advantages and disadvantages that can be produced for both espousing and opposing the banning of religious defamation. First of all, the advantages for espousing will be that there will be less conflict or quarrel between different religious group, and peace can stay among them. However the disadvantages are that they cannot prevent false religion from running rampant. The advantage of opposing the banning of religious defamation is that it guarantees the freedom of press, since it lets them say whatever they want to say about religions. However the disadvantage will be that conflicts between various religious groups are likely to erupt again, which can possibly be spread into a bigger conflict, even to a war. 6

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For this topic, the banning of religious defamation, Brazil strongly supports the banning of religious defamation, and will endeavor to maintain peace between different religions, and to protect the religious freedom and tolerance.

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China
China has not had problems regarding religious defamation, though it has supported action against it. In 2006, the Peoples Republic of China voted for a resolution titled Combating Defamation of Religions. In 2007 (the Year of the Pig on the Chinese zodiac), the PRC government also limited pork related advertisements shown on television. This was done in an attempt to not antagonize the Muslim minority living in China at the time, which constituted around 2% of the countrys population. Passing a resolution against the defamation of religion would have a positive affect in China, as it will limit possibility of religious violence, which will result in more national stability. However, when discussing religion, Chinas religious policy should be taken into account. The PRC constitution allows for freedom of religion and protects against discrimination based on it. But these rights only apply to normal religious activity, or religious activity from one of the five sanctioned religious organizations. These accepted religions are: The Buddhist Association of China, the Chinese Taoist Association, the Islamic Association of China, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Therefore, any defamation directed at a group outside of these five sanctioned groups will not be considered an act of religious defamation that the government will resolve. A possible resolution that China would support would be one similar to the 2006 resolution on religious defamation. This resolution expressed concern over attaching religion (and more specifically, the Islamic faith) with terrorism and stereotyping practitioners of it with the same stigma. China would also support state-given protection against acts of discrimination or hatred against such religions, and the possible prohibition of forms of media intended to incite violence or intolerance against a religion

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Georgia
Human rights in Georgia are guaranteed by the countrys constitution, we believe that every individual has the right to express their opinions freely. In 2010, Georgia voted against the combating the defamation of religions. In Georgia, the Islamic population accounts for around 10% of the total population, with the majority of the rest of it being orthodox Christianity. The Islamic population is a significant group to the Georgian constitution, and we are concerned about the defamation of the Islamic religion. In article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights it reads, Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas thought any media and regardless of frontiers. The constitution of Georgia strongly believes in human rights, and the idea of freedom of expression, therefore opposes to the combating of the defamation of religions. The resolution focused primarily on one religion (Islam), too much emphasis is placed on protecting Islam while other religions are being neglected. With the majority of the Georgian population being orthodox Christianity, the majority arent given the same protection. Christians within Islamic countries werent given the same considerations. The prevention of defamation and stereotyping should be extended to all religions. Moreover, the concept of defamation is not applicable to religions and, therefore, is invalid in human rights discourse, which should address the rights and freedoms of individuals. Furthermore, there was overall agreement that expression and discrimination on the grounds of religious belief is unacceptable and there was concern about serious instances of religious intolerance and violence, which should be addressed through international effort. In conclusion, Georgia along with one third of the General Assembly, did not vote for this resolution, the reasons given for this negation to support the resolution was that it contradictory, it confused issues around defamation of religion and human rights. It also over emphasized on Islam and neglected all other religions. Additionally, the terms combating and defamation lack lucidity and the way they are used in the resolution are confusing.

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Germany
Christianity is the largest religion in Germany Since 1949 the German constitution guarantees freedom of faith and religion. It also states that no one may be discriminated against due to their faith or religious opinions. We strongly uphold the structure of freedom of religion. We lobby for the right that one may adopt any kind of religious or non-religious belief, practice it in private or in public, confess it, or keep it for oneself. We propose that religious freedom like the other basic rights in the German Law is limited where it collides with human dignity or if it is misused to fight against the basic constituency of free democracy. Church and state in Germany are legally separated, and have been so since the Wiemar Republic. This has given our country the ability to develop German music, art, customs and lifestyles. We would like to spread the idea that has been the foundations of Germany. No one may be prejudiced or favored because of his gender, his descent, his race, his language, his homeland and place of origin, his faith or his religious or political views.

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India
Religion is the basis of many forms of culture around the world and is an important representative facet of human sanctity. However, religious differences have been causing deep divisions within many nations. These divisions, when in the form of defamation of religion, are the root cause of a large number of societal conflicts around the world, and indeed in South Asia. Particularly in regions where some religious communities are susceptible of being labeled as minorities, lack of understanding and harmony has brought about unwarranted cases of libel against these communities, the result of which often leads to social unrest and even terrorism, as was recently seen in Pakistan and in certain parts of the Middle East. With the growing need for a more united population as a requisite of a stable modernized society, India urges all UN members to ensure that religious communities get respect and the freedom to carry their religion as proclaimed by Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. India recognizes that she is a pivot in this global challenge. Having long been home to several religions, the diversity of which is representative of Indias tolerance, the country has always strongly opposed any form of slander against religious sects. Articles 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code reserve the right for Indias courts to punish any form of written defamation against any religion. India is conscious of the many problems that the international community may face when trying to deal with such problems, the most notable of which is the potential violation of freedom of expression. While India believes that such freedom is unimpeachable, she does not believe that it can be extended to acts which can potentially harm or defame a community, because this amounts to gross discrimination. India believes that believers of any religion, and the general public, should not be subject to incitement against. Having said that, India also affirms the right to carry out unbiased journalism and to report objective facts. India advocates the exemption of journalism from any accusation of defamation. It is Indias belief that the criminalization of defamation is necessary to protect believers from undue hatred and violence. Defamation must be seen not merely as a sociological problem but one that will have to involve strict legislation if its solution were to have any practical effect. It is equally important to ensure that all religions, not just one, are protected legally. There have been some concerns regarding the situation in Indias neighbor Pakistan, where those who seem to go against Islam become convicted under defamation laws. India strongly objects to such use of Islamic law and urges the international community to look more closely into the comprehensiveness of the way which such laws are enforced. India has abstained over Combating Defamation of Religion resolutions at UNHRC due to the fact that they focus squarely on Islam and do not give as much emphasis to the many other religions that might be endangered. There is also a need to highlight the positive influence that proper education might bring. The correct attitude towards different people must start from an early age. If the educational standards are increased, there will be less possibility of general discrimination. India therefore suggests UNESCO to closely monitor the situation of education, particularly in religiously conservative nations, and to develop programs that will strengthen social harmony. India also wants to bring to ones attention the need to increase cultural programs that 11

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promote the idea of accepting cultural diversity. If more institutions were recognized by UNESCO as heritage or of cultural value, people will appreciate the existence of different religious communities. Lastly, there is a growing problem of spreading defamatory ideas through the media. India wants to highlight the fact that this is an inappropriate use of the media. While it generally believes in freedom of expression in the media, there needs to be an impartial watchdog to avoid any ostensible conspiracies or slander against any community. India would like to put forward the creation of an international media watchdog that will balance the interests of freedom of expression and respect for a community of any kind. In this way, the impact of defamation can be minimized.

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Iran
Having around 90% of Iranians associate themselves with the Shi'a branch of Islam, the official state religion, and about 9% with the Sunni and Sufi branches of Islam; and also, being an active member and great sponsor in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the permanent delegation to the UN, aiming to prohibit expression that would fuel discrimination, extremism and misperception leading to polarization and fragmentation with dangerous unintended and unforeseen consequences. Iran believes that Islam is the most important religion to the Muslim world and that we believe the multinational business community has the ability to support and safeguard the interests and ensure the progress and wellbeing of the 57 member states of the OIC in an atmosphere of international peace. And Iran looks forward to offering its support in doing so.

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Israel
This topic is very sensitive to Israel because it regards Israel heavily. Israel, as a Jewish state has religion strongly intertwined with its culture, society, government and politics.In 1929 there were Palestinian riots over the famous and important Jewish sacred sites: the Western Wall. In the middle east and in Israels neighboring countries there are many religions with rival ideas and beliefs, these conflicts have always been an issue, as has local defamations and bigotry. Israel believes that all countries have the right to reserve their power to religion and its sacredness, along with any rules they feel that they have to administer to keep their religion sacred and not discriminated. Israel also has faith that Freedom of Religion should be a right that all human beings deserve to have, just like Israel enforces. In Israel blasphemy is covered by articles 170 and 173 of the penal code, stating that insult to religion, whether it be through words or through defacing sacred objects will leave you liable for 3 years of imprisonment, and if anyone publishes anything that insults a religion or someones religious faith or if someone voices in a public place something that insults the religion, sentiment or faith of others they are also liable for 1 year in prison. Israel understands that the issue of defamation of religion, is at heart a conflict of human rights, specifically two: Article 18 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Article 19 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Israel agrees more with Article 18 overruling Article 19 because expression is such a freelance idea and is so open to interpretation, it could range from a simple insult to a full scale riot, even though this article pertains to everybody its potential could do horrible things. Israel would agree to an International Law on Defamation of Religion and would also consider adhering to more specific and customized persecution laws depending on the Religion and scale of defamation. Israel would like to focus on the extensive coverage as well as persecution laws for this issue. An example for this extensive coverage and persecution laws would be their success in Israel itself, Israel has become an antidiscriminatory haven for the Jewish people.

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Italy
Since its existence, defamation of religion has been an ever-growing problem for the United Nations. Since 1999, several non-binding resolution have been voted and accepted by the United Nation condemning defamation of religion. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which is comprised of 57 nations, promotes Islamic values and interests, along with supporting the UN for endorsing the concept that nations have an obligation to implement laws against the defamation of religions. The blasphemy law is related to blasphemy which is the act of insulting or showing contempt towards a religious deity, holy person or thing. In many Islamic countries, blasphemy is punishable by execution, while in western civilizations blasphemy is not even a crime. Since 2001, there has been problem with the Islamic bloc and much of the developing world supporting these resolutions. The increased pressure from the West, free speech groups and human rights groups, defamation of religion is creating political trouble. They believe everyone has the right to say what they believe and there should not be any restriction on freedom of expression in the name of protecting defamation of religions. In the past decade defamation of religion has been the subject of debate by the UN. With initial pressure in 1999 from the OIC, the United Nations commission on human rights took on the problem and changed it to embrace all religions. On March 2010 the resolution to combat defamation of religion was passed even after receiving much criticism. In 2011, the UN human rights council shifted from protecting beliefs to protecting of believers. With a 52 paragraph statement released, concerning freedoms of opinion and expression the In Italy, under the article 724 of the penal Code, blasphemy now is considered as an "administrative offense" and punished with a fine. First introduced in 1930, the blasphemy has been decriminalized with the law N205 of 25 June 1999. Unequivocally, the law punishes only the blasphemy against divinities. Italy wishes to increase efforts to prevent defamation of religion by creating stricter laws, which limit them to only freedom of speech. With countries developing and cultures getting stronger, it is the responsibility of the citizens, not as Italians or American but as citizens of the world to show respect towards cultures and religions.

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Japan
Defamation of religion refers to the intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence against followers of certain faiths, including the negative projection of certain religions in the media and the enforcement of discriminatory laws against ethnic and religion backgrounds, and that threaten to impede their full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Defamation of religion is occurring in many parts of the world and thus attention is necessary from all nations and respective governments. The challenge is to strike a balance between the freedom of religion and the right to freedom of opinion and expression. On one hand, defamation of religions is a serious affront to human dignity leading to a restriction on the freedom of religion of their adherents and incitement to religious hatred and violence. On the other hand, when combating defamation of religion, the right to freedom of opinion and expression of people (as stated in the article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) will be limited. The aim is to achieve peace and respect for cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity, which is as dialogue among and within civilizations, something that is essential for global peace and understanding. According to documentations released by the SOCHUM, Japan voted against combating defamation of religion in 2005 and 2006 in representation to Japans liberal democracy and Japans determination in protecting fundamental human rights. However, from 2007 onwards, Japan has voted abstain in this issue since no balanced resolutions have been proposed to establish respect for religious diversity and world peace. Japan will continue to vote for whatever is in her interests. Noting with concern that defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general could lead to social disharmony and violations of human rights, Japan believes that it is more effective to solve the root cause of the problem than prohibiting the actions derived from it. Therefore, Japan supports elimination of religious hatred and establishing respect among religions. However, Japan has no intention to limit rights and freedoms of people and would like to achieve the protection of fundamental human rights to the largest extent. Therefore, Japan will continue to vote depending on which is the most effective and balanced resolution to achieving the protection of rights of all parties, social harmony and world peace.

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Kenya
The United Nations has led many debates on the topic of defamation of religion, drawing attention to the issue; and upholds human rights, such as the freedom of expression and religion. Throughout the world, religions contribute to the development of mankind but simultaneously cause conflicts and tension in many areas. Persecution of the religious and antagonization based on religion still occur in parts of the world. In the Republic of Kenya, the religious conflicts are minimal in scale due to the education and the high degree of freedom of expression and religion the government offer. The Constitution of Kenya promulgated in August 2010, extends the Bill of Rights in Chapter 4. Article 33 of the Constitution protects each individuals freedom of expression, which extends to freedom to seek, receive or impart information or ideas, freedom of artistic creativity, academic freedom as well as freedom of scientific research. The enactment strengthens peoples freedom of expression and protects their human rights. It is also stated in the Constitution that people have the right to manifest any religion. The Republic of Kenya highly upholds human rights and strongly believes that peoples right of expression must be protected. Currently, the Republic of Kenya does not have any blasphemy law and but it is stated in Article 33 of the Constitution that the freedom of expression does not extend to propaganda for war, incitement to violence, hate speech or advocacy of hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others or incitement to cause harm. The government believes the present legislation is capable of preventing breakouts of religious conflicts. The government feels that the legislation should protect individuals, the religious, rather than the idea itself, the religion, in order to minimize violence caused by religious beliefs. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, requests the UN to pass resolutions to protect religions, in order to prevent people from verbally defame a religion; that is, to legislate blasphemy law. They believe the enactment of blasphemy law can prohibit actions of violence based on religious beliefs. However, the government believe there is not a necessity of enacting blasphemy law globally. The resolution requested only focuses on Islamism and is clearly not inclusive of all religions, thus it could not be carried out globally. Moreover, the governments current legislation for freedom of expression and religious freedom manages to strike a balance between the two; it protects peoples human rights and prevents the emergence of violence caused by religious conflicts. Therefore, this delegation opposes the enactment of any international blasphemy law and encourages member states to promote and protect human rights for individuals rather than a religion.

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Kuwait
The issue of defamation in religion has been addressed and recognized by several members of the United Nations since 1999. Ever since this issue is recognized, the UN has adopted and approved resolutions seeking to resolve this problem. Since 2001, it has been clear, that most of the Islamic and developing countries are supporting most of the resolutions and mostly the Western democracies opposing. With more than 4000 different religions in the world, religions followers have been having issues on the defamation of religion. On 1209-2012, a 14 minute long anti-muslim movie trailer spurred protests among religious and spiritual Middle-Easterners. In Egypt and Libya, there were antiAmerican attacks caused by the anger of Middle-Easterners over this film. This is one of the most recent examples of defamation of religion. Last year, we had sent a letter to UNESCO condemning the issue of defamation of Islam and importance of promoting tolerance among followers of different religions and faith. We believe that this is the time, where all countries should come together and agree on a resolution that can stop the defamation of different religions, not only Islam, but also on Hinduism, Christianity and other religions. The delegation of Kuwait is concerned about the issue of defamation of religion. Seeing that religions are being defamed by followers of other faiths, we truly urges other members of the UN to take actions. Although Islam is the official religion of our country, we still value every religion equally. We acknowledge that Muslims are often insulted by Western countries and we believe that more actions need to be taken. Our nations main policy on this topic is the anti-blasphemy laws. We had made amendments to this law in June, 2012 which mandate the death penalty or life imprisonment for Muslims who refuse to repent after being found legally guilty of disparaging God, Prophet Muhammad, his wives or the Quran. Non-Muslims who commit the same will face a jail term of not less than 10 years. As most Muslims have no choice of religion because they are mostly born as a Muslim, they might refuse to believe in it and defame it. Therefore, inputting these laws are important, not only for our country, but also for other members of the UN. Furthermore, we had called for a UN resolution to criminalize defamation of religion in October, 2012. In order to solve the issue of defamation of religion in the Middle East and other parts of the world, we propose to make amendments into the current antiblasphemy laws. Our countries also proposes to implement our nations policy into other nations that are experiencing the same issue, providing them with better solutions to solve this issue. Our nation also plans to propose a resolution to the UN along with other countries to raise awareness of this issue. Our country would offer guidance for followers of faith when it comes to situations like the one that happened on 12-9-2012. Our nation would also add in some components of the education, educating our citizens on the importance of respecting other religion and its followers. By taking the above actions, we believe that we can stop the issue of defamation of religion and provide a better society for everyone. Our country expected and predicted that there will be several major oppositions to our proposal. As many of you might have remembered, the anti-Muslim movie last year was produced by the Americans. Therefore, the delegation of Kuwait deeply believes that Western countries will be the main opposition of our proposal. 18

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Libya
Recognizing the ongoing anatomization and violation of human rights caused by religious intolerance, the State of Libya would like to address the issue of Defamation of Religion in relation to freedom of expression and the protection of human rights. The state has been supporting resolutions GA 62/154 and HRC 7/19 on this subject matter to protect her fellow Muslim civilians from discrimination caused by negative stereotyping of Islam. While some countries oppose to these resolutions persistently, claiming that anti-blasphemy laws would eradicate the freedom of expression, Libya is deeply disturbed by the association between Islam and causes such as terrorism and violence against women. Granting the viewpoint that universal declaration of human rights is for the protection of individual believers and not for religious beliefs, religious intolerance expressed using force or coercion is unacceptable, and such intolerance rooted from the negative stereotyping of religions. The negative stereotypes upon Islam by some countries in the West had significant impact on the reputation of Muslim civilians and the prejudicial ways in which they are portrayed in the global community. Recently, the anti-Islam videos proliferated in the United States and France aroused violence among the Libyan civilians in reaction to blasphemy upon Islam. Dating to September 11, 2012, the Benghazi attack resulted in the tragic deaths of four individuals, including the US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Libya firmly condemns the violence as Ali Aujali, Libyas ambassador to the United States, has stated during the conference that followed the aftermath of the attack in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Ironically, the Muslim population has been facing this longterm bigotry by the West that equated Al Qaeda and the act of terrorism with Islamic beliefs, which Muslims were discriminated against for expressing their faith. From this point, the reactions taking place in Libya, Pakistan, Egypt and Tunisia all comes down to the lack of international actions to prevent religions from being misinterpreted. Libya recognizes the extent of religious discrimination beyond Islam, and millions of devoted believers and the innocents are killed for their beliefs. During the Libyan civil war, a small Christian community in the country was attacked by a group of radical Islamists with no intervention from the previous government. While such incidents are rare in Libya, the officials recognize this as an un-Islamic and criminal act, and it must be solved through the reinforcement of religious diversity. Even though religious intolerance constitutes to war, hostility and violence in history, respect towards religion is often excluded from conventions dealing with elimination of discrimination. The State of Libya firmly supports the previous resolutions passed by the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council to the extend that it advocates equality of all religions. Entering a new political era after the removal of long-term dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, Libya seeks to maintain her Islamic heritage using Sharia along with respect and honor towards other religions.

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Malaysia
The delegation of Malaysia believes that the issue of the defamation of religion is very important to the United Nations Assembly. We feel that the problem of abusive and disrespectful comments towards a religion affects all people of the world, however, it is also important that we do not abuse the freedom of speech, which is stated in the universal declaration of human rights. We believe this because everyone should have the rights to believe in whomever they choose and should not be abused because of it. Defamation of religion is an issue that has been repeatedly addressed by some member states of the UN since 1999. Several non-binding resolutions have been voted on and accepted by the UN condemning "defamation of religion." The motions, sponsored on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, aim to prohibit expression that would "fuel discrimination, extremism and misperception leading to polarization and fragmentation with dangerous unintended and unforeseen consequences. Islamic States have expressed concerns that Islam is sometimes associated with terrorism and human rights violations, especially after the 911 attack and argue that the resolutions are necessary to against Islam without a reason. Religious groups, human rights activists, free-speech activists, and several countries in the West have condemned the resolutions arguing it amounts to an international blasphemy law. Critics of the resolutions including human rights groups argue that they are used to politically strengthen domestic anti-blasphemy and religious defamation laws, which are used to imprison journalists, students and other peaceful political dissidents. To solve the issue we must make sure that the international blasphemy laws are respected and followed by countries. We urge that education is needed for countries to learn and respect religions. Also, that the blasphemy laws are recognized and respected, and is mandatory to be followed. We deeply believe that there will be a solution to this issue and we urge all countries to cooperate to solve this issue.

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Morocco
Religion has been long used for political purposes. For this reason, negative stereotyping of some religions and beliefs often pose as a challenge to the growth of a global society. As globalization intensifies, people are able to communicate with one another. Thus, there are often situations where individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds come in conflict because of different beliefs. There are numerous situations in which religious groups have been targeted as a center of criticism from a doctrinal point of view. Prevention of this issue is vital as cultural diffusion continues to impact the lives of people. The Kingdom of Morocco is fully committed to resolving this issue. Recently, the anti-Muslim movie trailer posted on YouTube has sincerely affected Morocco, since 99% of our countrys population is Muslim. As a Muslim majority state, our population fears to be categorized similarly to those that have the same beliefs but have done wrongdoings. Morocco feels that the Muslim population is often treated with prejudice and has never been given a chance to prove themselves that they are not a threat to the global society. Therefore, Morocco would like to introduce an international blasphemy law so that people will not have to be pressured to adhere to a certain interpretation of a religion. Since 1999, resolutions have been voted to accept an international blasphemy law. However, amount of support is no longer determined as fewer countries are supporting this idea. On behalf of the 57 member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Morocco has long been part of this organization. OIC created the defamation of religions theory for the purpose to protect the Islam religion. The theory supports countrys rights to persecute and punish those who criticize their religion and beliefs. Although there may be concerns regarding the introduction of this law, it violates human rights such as the freedom of speech, these should not be excuses for protecting those that suffer from blasphemy. In 2010, a Christian farm worker and his family in Pakistan have been sentenced to death due to violating the countrys blasphemy code. This is a situation where the government has abused the national blasphemy law to stifle dissent and debate. To combat religious intolerance, the current blasphemy laws set by countries individually may not be the solution but rather setting up an international law in which offenders do not receive heavy punishment such as the case mentioned. The Kingdom of Morocco has introduced the Sharia, the Islamic legal code, which gives the government the right to imprison those who have committed blasphemy. This law exists in countries that have Muslim majorities. Defining defamation of religion is an excellent idea that would lead to possible resolutions. However, we must first find the balance between freedom of expression and the protection of religion. From Moroccos point of view, it seems that freedom of expression is a form of an excuse that allows people to negatively stereotype certain religions. Therefore, Morocco argues that defamation of religion does not fit in the category of freedom of expression. For this reason, Morocco will like to demand a global law similar to blasphemy, where people will have to suffer the consequences of criticizing certain religious groups. After the anti-Muslim trailer was posted on YouTube, it has caused riots and other forms of violence in our country as well as in other neighboring Islamic states. The Kingdom of Morocco 21

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looks forward to support nations with recommendations and ideas that will help resolute this problem.

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Nigeria
Nigeria is a secular nation which we believe everyone has the free and privilege to hold his belief. We are home to different religions, which usually vary regionally. Christianity and Islam are the two prominent religions in our country. Nevertheless, the dominant and minority ethnic groups treat each other with suspicion and the different religious world view clash at the slightest provocation. The immediate cause of an ample amount of ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria is traceable to acts or allegations of defamation of religion. Instability, chaos, and uncertainty are but part of the negative features that shape the our nations polity. In spite of threatening our huge potentials in both human and natural resources, the foreign direct investment indices is increasingly becoming quite devastating on the our economy. On the other hand, there has often been a time when people take delight in hurting the others religious belief in the claim of exercising the rights of freedom of expression. We believe that the decision to combat defamation of religion would not go against the freedom of speech. It is important to note the difference between the freedom of expression and the defamation of religion. We would not be kind to those who dishonor any religious belief, i.e. making false statements that are detrimental towards a religion. Currently, we have laws to protect our citizens freedom of speech, under chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution. Section 38 ensures the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Yet, we lack direct laws targeting defamation of religion, except for the general laws regarding the defamation against a person. However, it is hard for us to execute even if we have set up laws concerning the defamation of religion, due to the vulnerabilities of our political system and deficient political will. While the United Nations is endeavor to safeguard the reputation for each religion, we, Nigeria would make a conscious effort by our elites to improve the literacy levels and better understanding of the basics of religious persuasions between Christians and our Muslim neighbors. As a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference, we, Nigeria therefore would like to propose a few suggestions: 1) The international human rights laws should protect individuals and groups from discrimination and harassment on the basis of their religion or ethnicity, but not only upholding the rights of women, children, refugees and so on, therefore: a) The International Laws should also include the defamation of religion to avoid any forms of insulting religious belief. 2) Regulation on hate speeches, local publication of news, books and magazine, and local press which are relevant to religious belief. 3) Other member states, particularly the African countries are suggested to provide sufficient and appropriate religious education to the citizens. 4) The government at all levels, i.e. federal, state and local government must ensure that their reform programs extend to the religious sector of the economy, in a view to provide policy frame-work that will regulate religious affairs in the country

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5) Both the church and the mosque, must desist from hijacking any conflict that is non religious in nature. 6) Religious and community leaders must evolve new ways of engaging the youth in order to divert their attention from violence.

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Palestine Liberation Organization (observer)


Defamation of religion is not only an offence towards a religion, but also an offence towards the people subscribed to the religion as stated in article 18 of the United Nation Declaration on Human RightsEveryone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Defamation of religion, though not directly infringe the human rights for freedom of religion, coerce the members of the religion. Hence, PLO strongly believes that, although some member states of the United Nations insisted on the protection of freedom of expression, to which the PLO recognizes, it should not infringe the freedom of religion. Hence, the religious homogeneity of PLO as an Islamic state should also be respected and protected. The issue of defamation of religion began in 1999 with the adoption of the resolution of Defamation of Religions. Although, throughout years there have been attempts to combat defamation of religion, for example, the resolution entitled Combating Defamation of Religions approved by the UNHRC in 2006, certain countries persisted on the importance of freedom of expression and form a force against the combating of defamation of religion. However, it should be understood that defamation of religion is a severe issue threatening the international peace and any delay in addressing the issue would further worsen relations between countries. Hence, the PLO strongly believes that, though the freedom of expression is recognized by us, the defamation of religion should be combated in order to protect our population with a majority of Muslims and a minority of Christians and to discourage Islamophobia internationally. Defamation of religion has been an issue inflicting conflicts between countries, thus, the PLO propose the adoption of a new resolution to combat defamation of religion in the General Assembly. Through reaching a consensus with other states, the PLO hopes that international conflicts due to defamation of religion would come to an end.

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Philippines
In the present world where freedom of religion is advocated, the negative stereotyping of religions and manifestations of defamation and intolerance in the matters of religion and belief is still evident and ubiquitous. In the Philippines, the Roman Catholic Church represents 80.9% of the population; whereas 2.8% of the population considers itself Evangelical, 2.3% is Iglesia ni Kristo, 2% is Aglipayan, 4.5% is comprised of other Christian denominations, and 5% is Muslim. The Philippines, the only majority-Christian nation in Southeast Asia, has experienced ethno-religious conflict for decades. It has been reported that the number of terrorist attacks against Christians has demonstrated an increasing trend in recent years. According to the Philippines authorities, the terrorist have attacked the Southern Island of our country was attacked by Islamic terrorists with airport bombing. Such attack is not simply a large-scale homicide but also a destruction of public infrastructure, which poses negatively impacts to our country in various aspects. The Philippines strongly deplores all acts of psychological and physical violence and assaults, and incitement thereto, against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, and such acts directed against their businesses, properties, cultural centres and places of worship. It is recognized, that in the context of the fight against terrorism, defamation of religion and incitement to religious hatred in general have become aggravating factors that contribute to the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms of members of target groups, as well as their economic and social exclusion. Recognizing that defamation of religion has transformed into a threat to national security and public order, the Philippines calls upon all States to exert the utmost efforts, within their respective legal and constitutional systems, to provide adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from the defamation of religion and promote a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels. Based on respect for human rights and diversity of religion and belief, States, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders and bodies and the print and electronic media are urged to support and foster a global dialogue to broaden understanding among civilizations, cultures, religions and beliefs. To combat defamation of religions in general, all States should strategize and harmonize actions at the local, national, regional and international levels through education and awareness-raising. All states are urged to ensure equal access to education for all, in law and in practice, including access to free primary education for all children, both girls and boys, and access for adults to lifelong learning and education based on respect for human rights, diversity and tolerance, without discrimination of any kind.

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Russia
Defamation of religion is one of the most important social concerns the world faces today. Fuelling hatred and propagating intolerance in society, defamation of religion has caused riots and social tension in many parts of the world, most recently after the making of the video Innocence of Muslims, which sparked violent protests worldwide, which regretfully culminated in the death of tens of civilians, including the United States Ambassador to Libya, and injuring hundreds of others. Aware of the consequences of defamation of religion on society, the Russian Federation recognizes the freedom of belief and religious practices, and acknowledges that the attack and defamation of a certain religion constitutes a form of hostility and discrimination. Recognizing the human right to freedom of speech, we believe that inciting hatred and intolerance of a certain religious group cannot be justified as freedom of expression. Motivated by this belief, the Russian Federation had expressed its continuous support to the UN measures taken to combat religious discrimination and defamation of religion, such as the UN resolution adopted in April 2011 by the United Nations Human Rights Council on Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief, and had voted in favour of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Combating Defamation of Religions, approved in March 2009. Russia has also worked with its partners to legislate measures to prosecute hate speech in all of its forms, including religious hate speech. In light of this, Russian courts have not hesitated to ban extremist works inciting and propagating hatred within and without Russian society, such as the 2012 video Innocence of Muslims, which was banned in October 2012, after a Russian court verdict. The Government of the Russian Federation echoes the courts verdict, deeming it necessary, especially after the international reaction to the video. However, Russia has always encouraged a more global viewpoint and approach to religious defamation, through avoiding confronting it with respect to a certain religious group, recognizing that religious prosecution and defamation of religion is an issue relevant for many diverse belief systems and peoples worldwide. The delegation of the Russian Federation is looking forward to work with all partner delegates to combat defamation of religions. When tackling this worldwide problem, the Russian Federation believes that there will be a need to formally define defamation of religion and distinguish it from topics such as religious intolerance and blasphemy. The Russian delegation supports measures taken to stop defamation of religion, including taking concrete action against propagators of hate speech and establishing a framework for preventing future instances of violence and social tension due to defamation of religion. We urge all member states to cooperate for a productive session and a viable solution for this issue.

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Saudi Arabia
As an Islamic theocratic monarchy, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always been firm in the faith of Islam at the expense of ridicule, insults and offense from Western imperialist powers. Saudi Arabia does not tolerate any form of religious defamation, and we strongly condemn any acts of incitement of hatred and violence against the faith of billions of Muslims and our beloved Prophet Muhammad. As a country that is ruled by a monarchy with a legal system based on Islamic Sharia law, we also forbid all forms of public religious expression other than one school of Sunni Islam, namely, Salafism or Wahhabism. The kingdom's laws treat blasphemy as an instance of apostasy, and apostasy is a Hadd (crossing the limit) offence. The death penalty is also prescribed for Hadd offences. The kingdom uses the Commission to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice (religious police) to enforce its laws against apostasy, also known as the mutawa. However, Saudi Arabia does not recognize the need for laws regarding defamation of religion precisely because of Saudi Arabias refusal to recognize any religion than Islam. For example, the Saudi Arabian parliament rejected a recommendation to adopt the international agreement that forbids insulting religions, prophets and clerics in 2008 on the basis that if they adopted the agreement, they would have had to recognize the legitimacy of idolatrous religions, such as Buddhism. Saudi Arabia will therefore vote against any resolution that does not align with the interest of Islam and any resolution that forbids the assertion of Islam in a peaceful manner. Saudi Arabia would also like to work with Western nations to eradicate misconceptions about Islam, and to promote Islam as a peaceful religion.

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South Korea
This issue should not be even be raised in the UN. Articles 18 and 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights are very explicit on the sacrosanct protection of the freedoms of speech, opinion, expression, thought, and choice of religion. Grow up. Sticks and stone, and nukes on this scale can break my bones but words shall never harm me. The Republic of Korea refuses to even accept the Defamation of Religion as a legitimate concern. Each nation is entitled to their use of censorship, and if the internet has made it difficult to censor things, then perhaps you should get your head out of the gutter and realize intellectual crime is an obsolete concept. Even the Quran, in chapter 88 verses 21-22 invoke believers to exhort them; your task is only to exhort; you cannot compel them to abide. People are entitled to the right to say mean words and the right to feel offended in fact, we would like to raise the issue of Defamation of Free Speech.

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Sweden
The world around us has been widely influenced by the religious history. In Sweden some of our most cherished and devoted buildings are churches. Since a majority of our population belongs to a religion, the defamation of religion concerns us greatly. We are disgusted the by the defamation of religion, and hope that the world becomes a global unit and that there will be no more antiSemitism. In Sweden we have laws protect each individual to follow what they truly believe in, no matter it is Judaism, Christianity or Muslim. Our country encourages citizen to proliferation religions. 68.8% of Swedish people belong to a church. In 2011 there were 6,500,000 church members in Sweden. Sweden has been a largely Christian nation since its founding, and now we receive many different religions into our country, and encourage our citizens to pursue their own path as far as religion is concerned. We do not pressure anyone into any religion and by that notion a lot of people have been converting to other religions. In 2009 more than 72,000 people lest the Church of Sweden. As the Kingdom of Sweden we strongly believe that religion should be a matter of choice and not force and we would like to collaborate with the UN to resolve this issue.

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Switzerland
Switzerland holds strong opposition of the defamation of religion and understand that it is a global issue that should be urgently addressed. It takes into consideration the pressing need to fix the serious and delicate situation. The standard global definition of defamation of religion is that it is speech designed to be harmful to a person or a group's reputation and is not able to be proven to be true. Defamation of religion, therefore, can be generally defined as speech directed at a particular religion that is negative, hurtful, and untrue and Switzerland strongly believes that defamation of religions is a serious affront to human dignity which can restrict the freedom of those who are defamed, and may also lead to the incitement of violence. Examples can be drawn from the history of Switzerland and UN decrees that are accustomed. The biggest historical conflict aroused from the defamation took place in <date>, and is known as <name>. <what happened>. There are also current decrees stating the abolishment of the defamation of religion. Article Nineteen of the UN Declaration states that: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. The Article is set out as a right to opinion and the expression of opinion, but (significantly for the library and information professions), it contains within it the right to freedom of access to information, expressed as the rights to seek, receive and impart information. Furthermore, although it is clearly a statement of the rights of the individual, there is clearly no intention to deny those rights to bodies of people, such as members of religions and other belief groups. By obvious inference religious expression is protected along with other opinions, be they political or scientific, trivial or important, popular or eccentric. The protection of religion does not need to rely on Article Nineteen however. Article Eighteen of the Declaration states that: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. This asserts the right of human beings in ways that are now entrenched in the theory and the practice of liberal democracy. It upholds the right of people to live in freedom from persecution and arbitrary arrest; to hold any faith or none; to change religion; and to enjoy freedom of expression, which by any fair definition includes freedom to agree or disagree with the tenets of any religion. Drawing out of the smaller picture, the issue relates to the international community and defamation of religion strikes a global impact. Switzerland believes that religion <reason> Switzerland highly regards the value of freedom and fully addresses the need to demolish defamation of religion. However Switzerland also believes that the aid from all country delegates establishing anti-defamation clauses to ensure the safety of the diverse ethnic groups and implement peaceful relations that will not be determined by religion, race or country would be a necessity in solving this issue.

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Syria
Syria is a country of rich religious diversity and freedom, with 87% of the population Muslim (including the Alawites and Sunnis), 10% Christian and a minority of Jews and Yazidis. In matters of personal status, Christian, Jewish and Druze minorities follow their own legal systems, while all other groups fall under the jurisdiction of the Muslim code. In as much the Republic respects religious expression and religious freedoms, the Republic does not support any forms of defamation towards any religion, and will neither tolerate religious defamation towards religions in Syria made out of Syria, especially if the defamation has the potential to incite violence or unrest. The Republic both recognises and supports the United Nations efforts to combat defamation of religion , in particular discrimination towards Islam, with the recent Islam-insulting film, which is a matter of much concern towards Syria and other members of the Arab League. The Republic fears that defamation of religion can lead to widespread social unrest and destruction, harming the stability of communities and governments, and should be dealt with firmly and immediately. The Republic views defamation as not only insulting a religion or beliefs within, but also targeting believers and causing damage because of their faith. Syria, thus, as before, reiterates its stance that measures need to be taken to put a stop to violence towards believers, regardless of their specific religion, and need to be implemented on a large scale, for both developed and developing countries. The Republic rejects the view that opposition to the defamation of religion will be used to justify censorship and criminalisation; conversely, it promotes religious tolerance to all religions and justifies freedom of expression insofar that it does not entail discrimination or insults towards religions. The Republic would even dare to venture that preventing defamation of religion aids freedom of speech, in that it ensures speech is not abused to incite unrest or harm. The Republic hopes that the United Nations can take a firm stance against religious defamation and reach a decision which will effectively prevent any further defamation. The Republic also believes that the United Nations should push more developed nations, including the USA and European states, to adopt a tougher stance against religious defamation, especially that towards Islam, where many Muslims suffer stigmatisation and violence.

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Turkey
I. General Religion is ones faith and belief, which should be respected by everyone and not insulted. The government of Turkey practices this idea in terms of protecting religions and providing freedom of religion. The Government respects the citizens right on their religious freedom in practice. The Constitution establishes the country as a secular state and provides for freedom of belief, freedom of worship, and the private dissemination of religious ideas. There are approximately 99% of populations of Turkey is Islam; the remaining 1% of populations were members of other religion. Religious minorities have been recognized under the terms of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923. The Office of Foundations (Vakiflar Genel Mdrlg) (VGM), which is a separate government agency, is responsible in regulating some activities of nonMuslim religious groups, alongside their affiliated churches monasteries, religious schools, and properties. The VGM has approved 160 minority foundations including Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Jewish, Syrian Christian etc. Moreover, the government prohibits the acts of insulting or attacking a religion, in which law penalizing defamation of religion has been established; there are legal restrictions against insulting any religion. II. Particular The government of Turkey was alerted by the conflicts raised between religions after the exposure of the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims, which caused the violent protests in the Muslim world, and recognizes the threat posed by the clashes caused by hatreds between nations or religion. In response to the negative impact of defamation of religion, the government urges all nations to approve anti-blasphemy laws that would criminalize attacks on religion. For over a decade, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been fighting for the universal legislation of religious defamation and pushing through resolutions at the U.N. General Assembly and human rights bodies. It is time for the whole world to take serious attention towards the dangerous implications of hate speech. All nations that respect freedom of religion and freedom of expression should take a strong stance against any push for defamations of religions The government is not calling for suppression over the freedom of speech, but instead, calling for a legislation protecting attacks against any religion. With emphasis on the fact that Turkey respects the freedom of speech, and recognize peoples rights to express oneself, the nation is strongly disagreeing any speeches and actions which insult and attack toward a religion. Turkish lawmakers have been continuously working on the legislation and he encouraged other nations to do the same. In this regard Turkey would offers its contribution in being an example to other nations.

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Uganda
Defamation of religion has been a problem, which is not rare in todays world and is repeatedly addressed by a number of UN states since 1999. It was stressed by Uganda that defamation of religion is a serious affront to human dignity, leading to the illicit restriction of the freedom of religion of their adherents and incitement to religious hatred and violence, which could then lead to social disharmony and violations of human rights. Uganda believes that respect for cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity, as well as dialogue among civilizations, is essential for peace, while the defamation of religion stereotypes some religions and the combustion of it is necessary. Uganda welcomes the resolve expressed in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which was adopted by the General Assembly, to take measures to eliminate the increasing acts of racism, xenophobia and defamation of religion. Uganda has been declaring its support towards the resolutions adopted by the United Nations in recent years. Uganda is also having an international dialogue on interfaith cooperation and the World Conference on Dialogue with other states regarding this problem. To solve this problem, actions have to be taken in the future. For instance, there should be more education to promote tolerance, which involves acceptance by the public of, and its respect for, diversity, including with regard to religious expressions. Education also contributes in a meaningful way to promoting tolerance and the elimination of discrimination based on religion or belief. Furthermore, there is a need to continue the efforts enhance dialogue among states and broaden understanding among civilizations, cultures, religions and beliefs since dialogue can help reinforce understanding among different cultures, religions, beliefs and civilizations and help promote appreciation towards the others. Also, states, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies and the media have an important role in promoting tolerance, respect for and freedom of religion and belief.

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Ukraine
Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, culture systems and world views that relate humanity to spirituality. In Ukraine, these systems are dominantly Christian beliefs. The faith of the Ukrainian people appears in many different forms, causing richness and diversity in culture. Religions from all over the world have suffered slander and poor reputations due to the actions of certain individuals. History is dotted with religious wars, such as the Crusades or the Thirty Years War, entire nations defaming another with religion. In Ukraine, the defamation of Christianity would be a hard blow, seeing as 96.2% of the Ukrainian population is a Christian of some form. However, the government of Ukraine is certain that the Ukrainian people are able to rise above such slander. The government of Ukraine is open to the publics opinions on all matters, the defamation of religion included. We are against the combating of the defamation of religion because we do not need to combat such slander - the unity of our people against those who would speak against them is absolute and strong, for without unity, duty cannot be acted upon.

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United States of America


The inappropriate dealing with the issue of the defamation of religion is regarded by the United States as a pullulating threat to Universal Human Rights Standards. These blasphemy laws have only ever been exercised in abuse and are only false justification to promote authoritarian institution that utterly suppress the human right of the freedom of expression. Historically, the world has only ever seen this being exploited as a ground basis for criminalising those whom individuals face rivalries or disputes with. Particularly in areas of Pakistan, where conveniently for certain opportunists with ulterior political of financial motives, targets can be branded blasphemers without substantial evidence and then legally sentenced based on biased civic assumption. The United States sees the models proposed by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation as a guise of vindicating authoritarianism through the disregard for freedom of expression, and also legal grounds highly prone to exploitation ands misinterpretation by both governments and individuals. The United States of America was founded on an entirely secular and liberal basis, granting its citizens complete freedom of expression and human rights rightfully to its maximum extent. As of the nations recent history, its legislation and constitutions exercise this universal belief in freedom and equality for humans alike. The United States of America has rejected the resolutions presented by the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in the past, based on the fact that there exists an imminent, potential threat to this ideology of human freedom that the United States and other such western liberal democracies vanguard. In recent history, during July of 2012, when the highly provocative anti-Islam amateur video was released, the United States responded calmly, condemning the act of religious intolerance by expressing national condemnation. However, other victimized nations resorted to violent means of expressing their disgust. This tragic precedent proves the dire need for finalising a medium of response to situations in which religions are defamed, as it contradicts with the basic human right of freedom of speech which is firmly upheld by all secular and liberal societies. The United States addresses to the concern of the United Nations the flawed and ineffective method of dealing with cases of religious defamation continually brought up by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The nation continues to see the 'defamation of religions' concept used to justify censorship, criminalisation, and in some cases violent assaults and deaths of political, racial, and religious minorities around the world and therefore denounces all those in favour of the above. If such behaviour is tolerated, it will be a blatant infringement upon what the United Nations has stood for throughout all these years. As such, the delegation of United States strongly disapproves of the passing of defamation of religions and seeks to construct a detailed framework to avoid falling into the trap of a series of consecutive and consequential further limiting this freedom.

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