Attributable to the Spokesperson of the High Representative for the
United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
on the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief
New York – 22 August 2021
Today, we express our support to the victims of acts of violence on the basis of their religion or belief, as well as to their families and loved ones.
Attacks on people including religious minorities and their religious sites are resurging. Across the world, we have witnessed an alarming increase in violent sectarian or religious tensions affecting believers of virtually every faith on every continent. Freedom of religion or belief is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Upholding this right plays an essential role in combatting intolerance and discrimination and building cohesive and peaceful societies. All acts of violence against persons based on their religion or belief, as well as any such acts directed against their religious places, sites, and shrines, are an affront to human rights law and international law. Mutual respect, interfaith harmony, and peaceful co-existence are attainable when there is a safe space for everyone to practice the rituals of their religions or beliefs freely.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations remains fully committed to promoting and creating opportunities for constructive and respectful debate of ideas and interreligious, interfaith, and intercultural dialogue to combat religious hatred, incitement, and violence. That includes collaborating with all stakeholders, including faith actors and relevant UN entities, to implement strategies and plans launched by the UN Secretary-General, including the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, which emphasizes the universality of religious sites as symbols of our shared humanity, history, and traditions.
It is our collective responsibility to speak out against such acts.
Today, let us pay tribute to the victims and stand in solidarity with their families and loved ones as One Humanity.
Contact: Ms. Nihal Saad, UNAOC Chief of Cabinet and Spokesperson for the High Representative, email@example.com.