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The motion called for countries to review their laws and plug gaps that may “impede the prevention and prosecution of acts and advocacy of religious hatred.

Here is how countries voted:

No:

  1. Belgium;
  2. Costa Rica;
  3. Czech Republic;
  4. Finland;
  5. France;
  6. Germany;
  7. Lithuania;
  8. Luxembourg;
  9. Montenegro;
  10. Romania;
  11. UK;
  12. US

Abstained:

  1. Benin;
  2. Chile;
  3. Georgia;
  4. Honduras;
  5. Mexico;
  6. Nepal;
  7. Paraguay

Yes:

  1. Algeria;
  2. Argentina;
  3. Bangladesh;
  4. Bolivia;
  5. Cameroon;
  6. China;
  7. Cuba;
  8. Eritrea;
  9. Gabon;
  10. Gambia;
  11. India;
  12. Ivory Coast;
  13. Kazakhstan;
  14. Kyrgyzstan;
  15. Malawi;
  16. Malaysia;
  17. Maldives;
  18. Morocco;
  19. Pakistan;
  20. Qatar;
  21. Senegal;
  22. Somalia;
  23. South Africa;
  24. Sudan;
  25. Ukraine;
  26. UAE;
  27. Uzbekistan;
  28. Vietnam;

Then, why did they abstain from voting?

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  • I added a "need detailed answer" post notice to this question because it's the kind of question that attracts speculative answers, which then receive a ton of upvotes from new users who don't understand that we don't allow speculation. If you want to answer, then source your answer from an official statement from the UN delegation of these countries explaining their reasoning for the vote. Do not bother writing answers based on conjecture and indirect evidence what their motivation might have been,
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 16:56

1 Answer 1

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A digital recording of the proceedings during which the delegations of each country presented their explanations as to their votes may be found here.

Mexico's position was that while the delegation agreed with the general sentiment of the resolution, it was of the opinion that further debate was needed on some of its elements. In particular, they wanted to determine that not all criticism of religion should be regarded as incitement to discrimination.

We would like to begin by reiterating that Mexico deeply laments the incidents that gave rise to this emergency debate and we firmly reject any acts of discrimination, intolerance, hostility or violence committed against a person on the grounds of their religious faith or beliefs. We would like to thank the sponsors for having taken into account some of the suggestions made by our delegation. That said, in the draft there are still elements which should be the subject of a more in-depth discussion within this council. Although we do agree with the sponsors that the exercise of freedom of expression entails duties and responsibilities, it is important to reiterate that not all criticism of religion amounts, in and of itself, to an incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

Mexico reaffirms that the rights to freedom of religion and belief including the right to not follow a religion as well as the freedom of opinion and expression are inherent in all human beings as rights holders. The topic we are discussing today requires broad dialogue with states belonging to all regional groups. It would have been desirable to take into account all views to ensure that this text would have tackled this important topic in a balanced, comprehensive and integral way as we have achieved over a decade and we would have wanted to ensure that we may enshrine the full respect for all human rights in it. Therefore, Mexico will abstain with regard to L 23.

Chile's position also rested on freedom of speech concerns, as well as the fact that their attempts to amend the resolution to be in line with international standards were rebuffed.

Chile believes that the facts underpinning this draft resolution are of the utmost seriousness and we urge all people to respect the practices, places of worship and symbols of all religious groups. My country firmly condemns any act amounting to an incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence against any group of people, including those who are part of a religious community. That said, we believe that this draft resolution is not consistent with other initiatives that tackle in a better way freedom of religion and which better reflect the importance of combating intolerance, discrimination, and incitement of violence such as the recently approved resolutions 52/6 and 52/38 of this Human Rights Council.

From our perspective, this fresh resolution does not meet all the standards of international obligations of states and some of its provisions would seek to limit freedom of expression in a way that goes beyond what is foreseen by Article 16 and 19 of the ICCPR. For these reasons Chile has decided to abstain.

Finally, Chile deplores that the constructive suggestions made during the negotiations were not duly reflected in the text of this resolution. We were seeking to bring this text into line with international standards and we believe that this council should be a forum for open dialogue in which we seek consensus. Only thus can we make resolute progress towards better protecting and promoting human rights around the world.

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