Former Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Shahid has completed his 6-year tenure as UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief this weekend.
In a long thread of tweets, Shahid thanked those who extended their support and cooperation to the mandate and ensured that Geneva could hear their voice and learn from them.
The former Foreign Minister then listed things that he had strived for and was grateful for at the end of his tenure.
He said that his key goals included increasing the mandate’s reach to platform voices long marginalized/excluded from the Freedom of Religion and Belief space.
Shahid said that he was I am grateful to all those who contributed to my March 2020 report showing why ensuring gender equality/non-discrimination is inseparable from Freedom of Religion and Belief.
He stressed closing the gap between promise and performance saying that he hoped that the Freedom of Religion and Belief Indicators framework developed in his 2020 report on Sustainable Development Goals can contribute to measuring the actual effort made by states and empowers both governments and rights-holders.
Shahid further said that he was disappointed by the lack of action in most liberal democracies in combating Islamophobia—anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination.
He said that ignoring the lived realities of communities or calling for mass atrocities is not consistent with the human rights obligations of states.
The ex-Foreign Minister is a seasoned diplomat who had filled numerous posts at the national and international levels. He was appointed as the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief in November of 2016.