Press Statement Attributable to
the Spokesperson for the High Representative for
the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
on the International Day of Tolerance
New York – 16 November 2020
On the occasion of the International Day of Tolerance, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Moratinos, stresses that, while today is a day for celebration, we need to move beyond tolerance towards acceptance and mutual respect, humility, compassion, and common understanding. He adds that these are the true universal values that we need today to achieve peaceful and inclusive societies.
Mr. Moratinos notes that the International Day of Tolerance is a reminder of the Charter of the founding fathers of the United Nations, which refers to “We the Peoples” of the United Nations as “determined to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as neighbors”. Those universal values are humanistic values inherent to all faiths. UNAOC derives its motto from these values, “Many Culture. One Humanity”.
The High Representative emphasizes that all major world religions espouse tolerance and peaceful coexistence in a spirit of shared humanity and that we must resist and reject those who falsely and maliciously invoke religion to build misconceptions, fuel division, and spread fear and hatred. He recalls UN General Assembly Resolution A/73/296 that calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue on the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and the diversity of religions and beliefs, emphasizing that States, regional organizations, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies, the media and civil society as a whole have an essential role to play in such efforts.
Mr. Moratinos encourages the global community to unequivocally condemn and stand-up against all acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief targeting individuals belonging to religious communities and religious minorities around the world. He calls for collectively deploring all acts of violence and terrorist attacks against places of worship that are motivated by religious hatred, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and Christianophobia.
UNAOC continues to collaborate with state and non-state actors and stakeholders, including faith actors and relevant UN entities to implement strategies and plans launched by the UN Secretary-General such as the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, as well as the Call to Action on Human Rights and the Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech. He also invites the global community to join UNAOC’s global Call to Action #forSafeWorship to safeguard religious sites and worshippers worldwide.
In conclusion, Mr. Moratinos invites us to celebrate the International Day of Tolerance by demonstrating mutual respect, compassion, and fraternity.
Ms. Nihal Saad, UNAOC Chief of Cabinet and Spokesperson for the High Representative
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