In a historic move that received little attention from the Western press, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights adopted resolutions on combating the defamation of religions and on the right to development. What makes this particularly significant is not only the substance of the resolutions, but also who voted against the resolutions. A description of the most relevant resolution is as follows:
In a resolution (E/CN.4/2005/L.12) on combating defamation of religions, adopted by a roll-call vote of 31 in favour to 16 against, with five abstentions, the Commission expressed deep concern at negative stereotyping of religions and manifestations of intolerance and discrimination in matters of religion or belief still in evidence in some regions of the world; strongly deplored physical attacks and assaults on businesses, cultural centres and places of worship of all religions as well as targeting of religious symbols; noted with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions, and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities, in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001; expressed deep concern that Islam was frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism; and further expressed deep concern at programmes and agendas pursued by extremist organizations and groups aimed at the defamation of religions, in particular when supported by Governments.
The tally of which countries voted for and against this particular resolution is:
In favour (31): Argentina, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo and Zimbabwe.The resolutions may be located on the Commission's website.
Against (16): Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Romania, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.
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