Explanation of Position on Resolutions under Agenda Item 15 “Culture of Peace”

Theodore Ho
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
December 12, 2019


Thank you Madam President, Distinguished Facilitators of the Resolution, Esteemed Colleagues and Delegates,

The United States strongly believes in encouraging a culture of peace through the promotion of justice, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as by rejecting violence and addressing the root causes of conflict. In joining consensus on this resolution, we refer you to our remarks delivered on November 21, 2019 regarding our position with respect to the 2030 Agenda. This is the resolution on the, “Action on a Culture of Peace.”

I will now read our second Explanation of Position for World Chess Day. In joining consensus on this resolution, the United States refers delegations to our remarks delivered on November 21, 2019 regarding our position with respect to the 2030 Agenda, and prior statements regarding our position on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.”

Madam President if you will indulge me, I will now read our final Explanation of Position for the resolution “Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.”

Madam President, Distinguished Facilitators Pakistan and the Philippines, and Esteemed Colleagues, the United States firmly supports efforts to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue and cooperation, and we are pleased to join consensus on this resolution. However, we would like to take this opportunity to clarify important points.

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, and thus disassociate from OP13, as we had with respect to OP12 in 2018, because the text inaccurately suggests that protection for freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief are at odds with one another. These two freedoms are mutually reinforcing, and both must be respected in order to achieve mutual respect and meaningful interreligious and intercultural dialogue.

Rather than seek restrictions to expression to deal with intolerance, the 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.

We addressed further concerns in a general statement that was delivered on November 21.

I thank the Assembly for their time.