QUESTION OF: Empowering minority religions


CO-SUBMITTERS:Angola, Arab League, Bolivia, Côte d’Ivoire, Estonia, Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch, Ireland, Malawi, India, Palestinian Authority, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Venezuela, Yemen.



Concerned for the rights of minority religious groups everywhere,


Reaffirming the right to freedom of religion guaranteed to all by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities,


Noting the situation in many nations such as where national or international forces suppress others due to their religion and ethnicity,


Recalling Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that states that occupying powers carrying out ‘mass forcible transfers’ or deportation of civilians is prohibited,


Acknowledging that more than a quarter of the world’s countries experienced a high incidence of hostilities motivated by religious hatred, mob violence related to religion, terrorism, and harassment of women for violating religious codes in 2018,


Recognizing that more than 84% of the world’s population identify themselves with a religious group,


Further Noting that religious conflicts are based upon an in-group/out-group dynamic,


Understanding that faith-based groups have also frequently led the way in shaping international treaties and social movements to make the world safer,


Further Acknowledging previous UN resolution A/RES/73/12 which addresses promotion of inter-religious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace,

  1. Urges all nations to recognize violent and destructive actions against minority religious groups committed by national governments as acts of genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and as such requests that:
    1. National governments concerned by this immediately halt all genocidal activities against their respective suppressed religious minorities
    2. National, judicial, and law enforcement agencies prosecute to the fullest extent of their national laws those, directly and indirectly, responsible for committing acts of genocide or other violence against minority religious groups;
  2. Calls for, under the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, a sub agency called the International Religious Violence Investigation Organization (IRVIO) to investigate impartially cases of persecution of or violence against religious minority groups, that will:
    1. Allow Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and United Nations (UN) organizations to:
      1. report acts of violence or genocide against religious minorities that are being enacted by national governments, for the Special Rapporteur to investigate
      2. Investigate on behalf of the Special Rapporteur these accusations, while protected from national prosecution by diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
      3. Identify indicators that underpin and drive a conflict 
      4. Name or “map” the key actors and stakeholders, including those who fuel conflict and those who mitigate it and promote peace
      5. Develop scenarios of possible situations from the worst to the best cases
      6. Plan effective responses by identifying actions and steps that can be taken to alleviate tensions 
    2. Work with national and international law enforcement and intelligence bodies in carrying out its duties
    3. Upon finding an instance of genocide immediately request that the responsible party be prosecuted under the national law of the Member State in which the instance of genocide was found;
  3. Requests that if countries believed to have committed genocide against minority religious groups by the IRVIO are not adequately prosecuted by national governments, the security council takes the following steps:
    1. create an International Criminal Tribunal for Instances of Religious Genocide (ICTIRG), responsible for indicting and prosecuting those responsible for instances of religious genocide
    2. If the actions of genocide are not halted, authorize a UN peacekeeping force to that country to assist in preventing these acts of genocide, as per articles 39 through 42 of the UN Charter —
    3. If the actions of genocide are halted, authorize a UN peacekeeping force to that country to prevent a second outbreak of acts of genocide with the principles of peacekeeping operations met (TOGO)
  4. Recommends that member states implement strong measures to decrease radicalization and violent extremism, such as:
    1.  informative lectures, accessible to all, led by NGOs similar to Search for Common Ground, which will aim in: 
      1. highlighting the similarities between religions
      2. emphasizing the disadvantages of religious war
      3. focusing on the impacts created by conflicts
      4. reducing the stigma surrounding religions
      5. rebutting false claims regarding religions
    2. changes in school curricula through the inclusion of religious information for a wider variety of faith-based groups in the class of religious, with the goal of:
      1. educating children from a young age about religious equality
      2. allowing the celebration of religion-specific holidays indiscriminately
      3. encouraging free access for students to cultural places of worship within these institutions
    3. Working with NGOs and UN organizations to provide programs for people subject to radicalization targeted at reducing divisions in multi-religious societies;
  5. Urges member states to conduct research within their own state based on the effects of religious extremity by doing the following:
    1. conducting surveys aimed towards finding what the people believe to be the result of extremism within their own country;
    2. engaging in social research measuring religious change within a member state marking the date when the first modern or semi-modern faith introduced themselves to the native population, with the additional note that the research should not be conducted by the government or a religious group in order to ensure transparency;
  6.  Advises member states to create re-integration programs for violent extremists that threaten not only religious minorities but also the state itself, which would aim to achieve peaceful solutions in the following manner:
    1. providing educational programs for prisoner extremists in a state effort to revise decisions that led to their extremist views:
      1. education should be a coordinated effort between the official state, and NGOs such as Religions for Peace,  that have expertise with religious extremism, religious groups that are particularly discriminated against should also be involved with reintegration programs, 
      2. integration should be the result of a multinational effort in order to prevent possible abuse of the system
      3. reintegration of violent extremists should not be directed by the state alone 
    2.  programs should not be dedicated to providing solutions for religious education nor general integration but also job security in the following months or years after the experience, including: 
      1. the government will be responsible for ensuring that former extremist get jobs
      2. if a former extremist loses their job than the state or a portion of the state should be responsible for finding the cause and either fixing it or finding a new place of work
    3. After a determined period of time, an NGO or branch of the state would be responsible for checking the progress of a former extremist, including factors to take into consideration as follows:
      1. mental well being
      2. physical well being
      3. opinions of their environment and the people around them
      4. a journal recording their feelings and thoughts about the environment would be beneficial for measurement;
  7. Strongly suggests the creation of temporary facilities to those directly affected by religious violence attacks who no longer feel safe in their homes or community that would include the provision of medical care by allocating doctors and mental health professionals to said facilities, access to basic items of survival and access to areas for prayer (MALTA).