Webinar Episode 13: Canada, United States, and United Kingdom Perspectives

This webinar centers on perspectives from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. 

Webinar Summary

Rita French begins the panel with remarks on the COVID-19 crisis from the UK’s perspective. She notes particular concerns related to using COVID-19 as a pretense to violate fundamental rights and highlights several actions the United Kingdom has used to respond to such instances. Nadine Maenza then shares thoughts on the pandemic and religious freedom from the view of the United States. Her comments shed light on multiple global examples of ways COVID-19 has exacerbated existing issues of freedom of religion or belief. Tamara Mawhinney next provides her reflections on religion and the crisis from Canada’s frame of reference. She underscores the place of freedom of religion or belief within the human rights framework and emphasizes the important role that religion can play to combat the crisis. Panelists then field questions from viewers of the webinar on various topics. Some of these include addressing cooperation between nation-states to address large scale violations of religious freedom, concerns of scapegoating religious minorities, the potential re-appointment of an EU special envoy for religious freedom, transatlantic and EU cooperation on freedom of religion, and the potential establishment of a factfinding body in the UN for China’s religious freedom violations. Panelists then conclude with their short-term and long-term institutional priorities as well as reflections on gender and freedom of religion.


  • Rita French, UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.N. in Geneva and International Ambassador for Human Rights
  • Nadine Maenza, Commissioner, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • Tamara Mawhinney, Deputy Permanent Representative, @Permanent Mission of Canada to the U.N., Geneva


  • Dr. Pasquale Annicchino, Fondazione Bruno Kessler / Cambridge Institute for Religious and International Studies