Grieboski Global Strategies’ CEO Short-listed to Become United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief

Alexandria, VA – Grieboski Global Strategies’ CEO, Joseph K. Grieboski, has been shortlisted for the position of United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, the only American under consideration.

“Religious freedom is more at risk now than at any time in human history,” commented Mr. Grieboski. “Whether it be from extremist organizations such as Daesh that seek to eliminate entire religious populations – Muslim, Christian, Yezidi, Mandean, and others – or from groups in the West that misappropriate the term ‘religious freedom’ in order to establish an illiberal theocratic system undermining liberal democratic processes, the most basic of all fundamental rights is threatened at all levels.”

The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief is an independent expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council mandated through Human Rights Council resolution 6/37.

The Special Rapporteur promotes the adoption of measures at the national, regional and international levels to ensure the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief; identifies existing and emerging obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief and presents recommendations on ways and means to overcome such obstacles; continues her/his efforts to examine incidents and governmental actions that are incompatible with the provisions of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and to recommend remedial measures as appropriate; continues to apply a gender perspective, inter alia, through the identification of gender-specific abuses, in the reporting process, including in information collection and in recommendations.

“No right is limitless. In fact, all rights are in constant conflict with one another,” Mr. Grieboski stated. “However, the fundamental right of an individual to express their religious beliefs and identities according to the dictates of their minds, hearts, and consciences cannot and must not be arbitrarily limited or undermined. The Special Rapporteur commands a bully pulpit from which to combat anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Christianophobia, and all forms of discrimination and persecution based on faith, beliefs, and spiritual or secular identity, and engages global stakeholders on countering violent extremism, combatting radicalization, and undermining the discrimination of gender, sexual, racial, and other minorities in the name of religion.”

The announcement of the appointment will be made by the end of the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council on July 1, 2016.

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