Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
July 25, 2019
Thank you Mr. President,
This explanation of position pertains to L.100.
The United States firmly supports efforts to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue and cooperation, and we join consensus on this resolution.
The United States strongly supports the freedoms of expression and religion or belief. We oppose any attempts to unduly limit the exercise of these fundamental freedoms. We strongly believe that these rights are mutually reinforcing and that the protection of freedom of expression is critical for protecting freedom of religion or belief.
The freedom of religion or belief plays an important societal role and is crucial to the creation of tolerant and respectful societies in which negative stereotypes will carry little meaning. To counter intolerance, United States advocates for robust protections for speech, as well as the enforcement of appropriate legal regimes that deal with discriminatory acts and hate crimes.
Regarding the invocation of the term “moderation” in OP5, we are concerned that the implementation of moderation-focused programs and policies could undermine enjoyment of freedoms of expression and thought, conscience and religion, or belief. Protecting the freedoms of religion or belief and of expression includes protecting the rights of those who hold minority viewpoints and the rights of those with whom we disagree.