Press Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson of the High Representative
for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
on attacks against religious and sacred sites in the context
of the Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities
New York – 12 October 2020
The High Representative expresses his deep concern and strongly condemns attacks against religious and sacred sites as a consequence of the ongoing hostilities. The High Representative calls upon the sides to resort to peaceful dialogue and put an end to these attacks that endanger the lives of civilians, destroy the historical and cultural heritage of communities and stoke animosity and division.
The High Representative stresses that committing any acts of hostility directed against historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples, and to use them in support of the military effort is a breach of the principles and rules of international humanitarian law.
The High Representative recalls the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites developed by his office, which offers concrete recommendations to support countries in promoting the safety and sanctity of holy sites, ensuring that worshipers can observe their rituals in peace, and fostering the values of compassion, tolerance, and religious pluralism.