Meeting of the International Contact Group for Freedom of Religion or Belief

International Contact Group for Freedom of Religion or Belief

On March 7th, 2017, Canada and the United States co-chaired a meeting of the International Contact Group for Freedom of Religion or Belief in Geneva on the margin of the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The meeting saw the participation of states from diverse regions including, the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Middle East, transcending traditional multilateral blocks.

The Contact Group, which was established by Canada in 2015, occupies a unique role as an informal body, to enhance information sharing and cooperation between states committed to protecting and promoting of the right to freedom of religion of belief, as well as inclusion and respect for diversity globally. 

The group was especially thankful for the participation of Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion of Belief.