Strains Emerging on "Defamation of Religion" Ahead of Important Vote

Ahead of two important votes later this week, the Ad Hoc Committee met to discuss the resolution tabled by Nigeria on the “Elaboration of Complementary Standards to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” (ICERD). Together with the annual resolution on …

Readers comment on UN Watch's New York Times letter on Swiss minaret ban

Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, December 19, 2009: Re “Europe’s Minaret Moment,” by Ross Douthat (column, Dec. 7): We, part of the Geneva human rights community, are particularly embarrassed by Switzerland’s vote to ban minarets and will work energetically toward its speedy …

Wall Street Journal: UN Watch takes on Islamist U.N. assault on free speech

Yesterday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal Asia (page 18) published the following two letters to the editor, by U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley and by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. Both were in response to a Nov. 5th editorial entitled “Hillary vs. State,” which …

OIC defends "defamation of religion" proposal in letter to UN

After suffering heavy public criticism, the Organization of the Islamic Conference defended its proposal to ban criticism of Islam in a letter addressed to a UN committee charged with defining the norms of anti-racism. It also resorted to attacking Western countries, mentioning only Denmark, the Netherlands, and …

GA approves resolution aimed at combating 'defamation of religions'

On November 12, the representative of Malaysia, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Belarus, and Venezeula, introduced in the General Assembly’s Third Committee a resolution on combating the “defamation of religions.”  The text was approved by a vote of 81 in …

Durban Ad Hoc Committee: Day 8 Morning

Lichtenstein and Nigeria went head to head at this morning’s Durban Ad Hoc Committee meeting. Redrawing sharp lines between Western and African countries, the two delegates debated the implications of new provisions to the current convenant on racial discrimination. The central point of disagreement remains …

Durban Ad Hoc Committee: Day 7 Afternoon

Pakistan chastised the United States for racial profiling practices at this afternoon’s Durban Ad Hoc Committee meeting. The committee debated several issues, including the rights of people under foreign occupation, protection of migrants, refugees and IDP’s (internally displaced persons). Zimbabwe …

Durban Ad Hoc Committee: Day 5 and 6

After several rounds of closed regional meetings, the Durban follow-up committee resumed work on Tuesday morning only to adjourn for another five minute recess when a new program of work was circulated. Upon reconvening, the committee did not formally adopt the program, but decided to move on to the more …

Durban Ad Hoc Committee: Day 4 Afternoon

The controversial issue of defamation of religion took centerstage at this afternoon’s Durban Ad Hoc Committee meeting. Still unable to adopt its program of work, the committee has decided to discuss agenda items unofficially, with hopes that it will have more luck in reaching consensus on a per item basis. …