Statement by Ambassador Farukh Amil, Permanent Representative of Pakistan at the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council under Agenda Item 2: “Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General” (19 June 2018)
I make this statement on behalf of the member states of the OIC. At the outset, I want to convey our appreciation for the High Commissioner’s statement of 5 September 2016. In making that statement, the High Commissioner became“ the global voice on human rights”, willing to squarely address the critical issue of racial and religious prejudice being fanned by political leaders in certain regions. It is an issue which has generally been faced by a nervous silence, allowing bigotry and prejudice to become entrenched in mainstream national policies on the pretext of counter-terrorism and security threats. The High Commissioner’s forthright condemnation of these tendencies can only be welcomed by the right thinking people and gives hope to those oppressed in other parts of the world.
The OIC has been in the forefront of international community’s fight against incitement to violence and advocacy to hatred as we believe in equality of human beings, all being descendants of Adam and Eve. Dividing humanity on the basis of caste, colour or creed is against the teachings of our religion. The OIC-sponsored resolution 16/18 is a testimony to our unequivocal commitment to end religious intolerance and promote interfaith harmony. We all need to speak with one voice against xenophobia, stereo typingand racial profiling under any pretext. Counter-terrorism measures which resort to such tendencies do not strengthen
2 our societies; instead these lead to mistrust and hatred among different ethnic and religious communities, thereby eroding the social fabrics of societies
The OIC is indeed seriously concerned about the emerging “cross-border bonding of demagogues ”and widespread social acceptance of such phenomenon in most supposedly civilized societies. The silence and complacency of the learned and
enlightened segments of the population in the face of increasing bigotry is a matter of deep concern. It is essential that
the intelligentsia, local communities, religious and political leaders should heed the voices of their conscience and openly speak against such bigots and populists masquerading as patriots and national saviors.This would help in overcoming the growing divide between the different ethnic and religious segments of societies. It would also exhibit the resolve of all rational people to fight xenophobic tendencies, thereby discrediting extremist voices
The enormous responsibilities of social media cannot be overstated in this context. Too often, we have seen an irresponsible and mainstream eagerness on the part of the social media to ascribe incidents of terrorism and extremism to particular communities and religion. At the same time, the same media have been unwilling to censor political demagogues and purveyors of prejudice and
outright hatred. The OIC believes that it is now imperative to draw a clear line between free speech and hate speec, and to come down on those who abuse freedom of expression to incite hatred of the “other”.
I would like to end my statement with High Commissioner’s words that“ do not be led by the deceiver. It is only by pursuing the entire truth, and acting wisely, 3 that humanity can ever survive”. Indeed, member states need to have the courage to pursue truth not selectively, and without discrimination, if we are to succeed in countering the growing forces of irrationality and hatred, forces that emanate, disturbing enough, from all regions of our troubled world.
I thank you.
Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order and Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights Comments by Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, Permanent Representative of Pakistan 33rd Session of HRC, 13 September 2016