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

A meeting of the International Contact Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief (ICG-FoRB)

A meeting of the International Contact Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief (ICG-FoRB) was convened on October 23, 2018, in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. Hosted by the Permanent Representation of Argentina to the UN, the meeting was co-chaired by Canada and the United States.

The Contact Group occupies a unique role as an informal platform, to enhance information sharing and cooperation between states committed to protecting and promoting the human right to freedom of religion or belief.

Reaffirming their commitment to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the meeting saw the participation of 19 countries from diverse regions including, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

The ICG-FoRB provides members with opportunities for open discussion and active collaboration on various FoRB-related issues. Recognizing the universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated nature of human rights, ICG-FoRB members explored global developments in China, Myanmar, Yemen, Iran and other regions, including how respect for FoRB can advance gender equality and women’s rights internationally.

As part of efforts to draw attention to the situation facing Yemeni Bahá'ís, a number of ICG-FoRB members have signed a joint statement condemning their persecution and calling for their immediate release. Members of the ICG-FoRB remain seized of this important issue and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

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