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Minister for Development Cooperation confirms strategy for the Danish FoRB-initiative with small adjustments   

On October 8, 2019, the Minister for Development Cooperation, Rasmus Prehn, confirmed the strategy’s five tracks and presented the new government’s adjustments to the Danish FoRB-initiative with the adjustments below. Read the Minister of Development Cooperation’s speech here.

Track 1 – Mobilization of the international community on the promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief: There is a need to emphasize the “B” for Belief in FoRB. Freedom of religion or belief is a right for everyone including agnostics, humanists, and atheists.

Track 2 – Thematic focus on the intersection of Freedom of Religion or Belief and Gender Equality & Freedom of Religion or Belief and Responsibility to Protect (R2P): The efforts on the thematic intersection between the freedom of religion or belief and the responsibility to protect will be enhanced by engaging with faith-based actors and their contribution to conflict-prevention and reconciliation. This will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions.

Track 3 – Focus on the immediate EU neighborhood area, including the Middle East and North Africa.

Track 4 – Focus on projects in specific countries to enhance dialogue and cooperation: A change of focus from development projects on freedom of religion or belief in four specific countries to a broader and more flexible approach to dialogue and cooperation with countries where FoRB is under pressure. The new approach’s guiding principle is to open up a dialogue “where it is necessary and possible” – instead of singling out specific countries.

Track 5 – Cases of individuals persecuted for religious reasons.

Concluding, the Minister of Development Cooperation stated that freedom of religion or belief is one of Denmark’s main priorities during Denmark’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council.


Parliamentary debate on the status of the Danish FoRB-initiative

On February 6, 2019, the status of the Danish initiative for Freedom of Religion or Belief was discussed in a parliamentary debate in the Danish Parliament on the basis of the attached report from the Government. During the debate all political parties expressed their support.

The Danish initiative has among others contributed to a greater international focus on religion or belief and persecution of religious individuals by organizing a summit on freedom of religion or belief in Copenhagen as well as participation in the first Ministerial on religion or belief ever held in Washington in 2018. 
There is allocated 5 million DKK to concrete projects, which can advance religion or belief in the Danish development work. 

Read the debate here