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FM Qureshi inaugurates 8th meeting of the Istanbul Process, hosted by Pakistan

Staff Reporter

Islamabad: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi inaugurated the 8th meeting of the Istanbul Process, themed “10th anniversary of UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18: Looking Back and Moving Forward.” The meeting is being hosted on a virtual platform by Pakistan from Geneva.

In his key-note address, the Foreign Minister highlighted that securitization of state policies, deployment of incendiary rhetoric by public office holders, and misuse of social media platforms as the main drivers of the growing incidents towards religious intolerance, discrimination and violence worldwide.

The Foreign Minister also presented a three-pronged preventive and action-oriented strategy as a way forward to prevent and counter these contemporary menaces: (a) reviewing discriminatory state laws, policies and practices; (b) promoting inter-faith harmony, tolerance and peaceful co-existence, while building legal deterrence against hate speech; and (iii) concluding an international instrument that prohibits dissemination of ideas and expressions which incite acts of religious intolerance and hatred leading to violence.

The Foreign Minister of Turkey, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General, the United Kingdom Minister of State for the United Nations (UN), the United States Under-Secretary for Democracy and Human Rights, European Union Special Representative for Human Rights, President of the UN Human Rights Council, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and High Representative for UN Alliance of Civilizations also delivered remarks during the opening segment.

Nearly 200 participants from states, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, faith community, mainstream and social media attended this virtual moot. The hosting of this 8th Istanbul Process meeting signifies Pakistan’s resolve to foster dialogue, and encourage adoption of affirmative and regulatory measures as a bulwark against rising incidents of incitement to violence against people of faith.

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