A big diplomatic success for Pakistan at the top international forum
Permanent Representative of Pakistan Ambassador Munir Akram presents a resolution on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that proclaims March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia
The UN General Assembly Tuesday adopted, by consensus, a resolution, introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), that proclaims March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia, saying it was aimed at promoting a culture of tolerance ad peace globally.
The resolution was sponsored by 57 members of the OIC, and eight other countries, including China and Russia.
Under its terms, the resolution strongly deplores all acts of violence against persons on the basis of their religion or belief and such acts directed against their places of worship, as well as all attacks on and in religious places, sites and shrines that are in violation of international law.
“Islamophobia is a reality,” Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan, told the 193-member Assembly, noting that the phenomenon was growing and must be addressed.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first to raise the issue of Islamophobia at the UN in his historic 2019 address to the General Assembly, and had repeatedly called for international attention and efforts to address it.
Today’s resolution invites all member states, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, other international and regional organizations, civil society, private sector and faith-based organizations to observe the international day in an appropriate manner.
After the adoption of the resolution by consensus, several member states hailed the document, but representatives of India, France and the European Union expressed reservations that while religious intolerance was prevalent all over the world, it singled out only Islam and excluded others. In fact, Indian Ambassador T.S. Trimurti complained that the resolution did not cover anti-Hindu phobia, among other religions.
In his introductory remarks, Ambassador Akram said Islamophobia’s manifestations – hate speech, discrimination, and violence against Muslims – were proliferating in several parts of the world.
“Such acts of discrimination, hostility and violence towards Muslim individuals and communities constitute grave violations of their human rights and violate their freedom of religion and belief; they also cause great anguish within the Islamic world,” the Pakistani envoy said.