Religie in de Algemene Vergadering van de Verenigde Naties
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In this master’s thesis, I explore the role of religion at the General Assembly of the United Nations. The research focuses on the way in which religion was used in the meetings and resolutions of the General Assembly between 2007–2010 and 2015–2018. By carrying out a critical discourse analysis, I analyze how the ambassadors of the member states discuss about religion during the General Assembly meetings. This research contributes to the knowledge of religion in the study of international relations where religion, until recently, has had a marginal position. The four chapters of this thesis discuss different functions or aspects of religion that are identified in the records and resolutions. These represent four ways in which religion is present in the General Assembly. The first chapter describes the ‘nonviolent character’ of religion, which is mentioned by ambassadors and in resolutions. The second chapter shows the ‘peacemaker’ function of religion, describing how member states point to the contribution of religion in achieving and maintaining peace. The third chapter displays religion in context with ‘religious minorities’. The last chapter shows the ‘victimhood’ of religion that is identified in the meeting records of conversations about discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, destruction of religious buildings, and misuse of religious arguments.