We thank the U.S Department of State for organizing and inviting us to participate in this 2″4 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Uganda is a secular, multi-religious nation with a Constitution that prohibits religious discrimination. Article 29 of the Constitution of Uganda provides for protection of freedom of conscience, expression, movement, religion, assembly and association. It stipulates that there shall be freedom to practice any religion and manifest such practice, which shall include the right to belong to and participate in practices of any religious body or organization in a manner consistent with the Constitution.

The Constitution further prohibits the creation of political parties based on religion. Thus, there is a clear separation of religion from state.

Uganda respects religious freedom and this is evidenced by the existence of the Inter- Religious Council of Uganda, among other organizations and alliances whose objective is to promote dialogue and harmonious co-existence among all faith groups and encourage non- violent resolution of conflicts.

It is the responsibility of the Government of Uganda to protect all its population and to ensure their security; including from extremist tendencies and any form of religious manipulation and intolerance. In pursuance of this responsibility, the Government of Uganda, under the Non-Governmental Organisations Act, 2016, requires religious groups, faith-based organisations and non-profit organisations to be registered as legal entities. This ensures that they are accountable to their members and followers and also adhere to the objectives for which they were registered.

The Government of Uganda recognizes and appreciates the contribution made by faith organizations towards nurturing peaceful co-existence among people.

The Government of Uganda is committed to working with all peace-loving people in advancing religious freedom and protecting human rights. It is also committed to observance of international conventions on respect for human rights.

Thank you for your attention.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future