Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
New and Emerging Ideological Threats of the 21st Century: The Need for a Global Reconciliation
New York – 18 February 2015
The International Community is facing an unprecedented alarming rise of cultural extremism, terrorist attacks, and continued incitement to hatred. The terrorist attacks and violent acts in Paris, Copenhagen, Libya, North Carolina, Nigeria, Myanmar, the Middle East and elsewhere, are the exact opposite of the core values that should prevail among peaceful communities that embrace the principles of coexistence, tolerance, mutual respect, reconciliation and forgiveness.
Manifestations of religious based intolerance and violence are increasing across the globe. Such unjustifiable acts have culminated into targeted killings against innocent people from different faiths, perpetuating stereotyping, xenophobia and racism. Such unwarranted prejudices would only play into the hands of terrorists and threaten our global stability, international peace and security as well as human rights and development. Moreover, these acts violate the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and International Law.
The scourge we are all facing as a Global human family runs contrary to the values of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations which embraces as its core mission the promotion of cultural diversity, religious tolerance, and inclusiveness as UNAOC has consistently maintained, these values are best promoted through, peaceful and meaningful dialogue in accordance with universally accepted norms and shared values.
Peace, stability, intercultural harmony and Sustainable Development are closely interlinked and mutually reinforcing; they are key factors to accomplishing an environment conducive to prosperity and Human Rights. Therefore, we need to protect our future and our generations from the forces that fuel tensions, hatred and violence.
The United Nations, since its inception was given the sacred task of addressing threats to international peace and security. The existing United Nations resolutions, including the resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council, as well as other UN and regional instruments, provide the international community with legal and moral tools to prevent and combat conditions conducive to the spread of extremism, violence and terrorism.
Sadly and despite the efforts made, certain ideological mindsets continue to project their uncivilized face in our world. Yet, these vicious forces should not hamper our efforts nor dissuade our political will to prevent and combat extremism, discrimination and xenophobia in all its forms. These collective efforts should become priority to the international community for the sake of our Global Human Sustainable Development.
We should not forget that there is a need for universally agreed parameters to combat hate speech and incitement in all their forms. We should do so, while being mindful of the freedom of expression as a tool that can be invested to promote and protect Human Rights and peoples dignity when practiced in a constructive manner.
Having said this, we cannot ignore our collective responsibility to do so.
Our preventive action should not be limited to only reforming the UN as a body but also should entail reforming the way we responsibly execute our actions in accordance with International Law. Preventive action should entail the empowerment and reform of the relevant existing instruments needed by the International Community to respond to and cope with the new and emerging ideological threats, for the sake of our collective security and Human Rights for all.