GENEVA, 3rd May, 2016 (WAM) — The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, GCHRAGD, with the support of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the UN, today organised a panel discussion on ‘Islamophobia and the Implementation of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18: Reaching out’.

The panel discussion, convened at the Palais Des Nations in Geneva within the framework of the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 on combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief, aimed to analyse the opportunities and challenges ahead for the fight against the scourge of Islamophobia.

Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, Chairman of the GCHRAGD Board of Management, and Ms. Tehmina Janjua, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the United Nations Office in Geneva, delivered the opening remarks.

Guest of honour and keynote speaker was Professor Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, former Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The discussion assessed the progress made in the implementation of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, and explored ways to delineate the boundaries between freedom of expression and opinion, on one hand, and the freedom of religion and belief, on the other. The objective was to enhance peaceful harmony between these two fundamental rights, which are often presented as incompatible, and acknowledge the interconnection and interdependence between them, as well as the possibility to overcome potential challenges in their application on the ground.