Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Italy; United Nations: Plan to Introduce Resolution on Religious Minorities

(Sept. 13, 2010) On September 13, 2010, Italy's Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, announced that the country plans to present a resolution at the next United Nations General Assembly. The resolution will cover the protection of religious minority groups. Frattini stated, [f]reedom of religion is a principle that applies to every religion.” (Italy to Present UN Resolution on Religious Minorities, THE DAWN (Pakistan) (Sept. 13, 2010),
; Italy to Present U.N .Resolution on Religious Minorities, LIFE IN ITALY (Sept. 13, 2010),

Frattini made the statement following a meeting with Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's minister for minority issues. Frattini expressed concern about the persecution of Christians in many nations in which they are minorities. He pointed to cases in which Christians have been murdered in Pakistan, particularly one case of two brothers shot in eastern Pakistan. The men had been accused of writing a pamphlet that was insulting to the Prophet Mohammed. He added the clarification that the struggle was not between members of two religions as a whole, saying that “if there is a clash, it is between extremists, not between Christians and Muslims.” (THE DAWN, supra.)

Bhatti stated that he “appreciated” the statements on religious freedom, and that Pakistan is taking steps to address the issue. (Id.) Frattini added that the fact that Bhatti himself is a Catholic “sent a reassuring message.” (LIFE IN ITALY, supra.)