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The UN Human Rights Council at its 12th session closed in Geneva on 2 October 2009 adopted a resolution on “Promoting Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms through a Better Understanding of Traditional Values of Humankind.” The draft was submitted by the Russian Federation.

The resolution was carried by 26 votes in favour, with 15 against and 6 abstentions. It recognizes that all cultures and civilizations in their traditions, customs, religions and faiths have common values belonging to the entire humankind and that these values contribute to the development of norms and standards of human rights.

To exchange opinions on the better understanding of traditional values of humankind, the Council intends to hold an international seminar with the participation of all concerned UN member states, regional organizations, civil society, and experts. The seminar will take place in 2010.

The resolution is an outcome of discussions began in March 2008 with a panel on “The Intercultural Dialogue on Human Rights”, taking part in which was His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, at that tine the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations.