Pledge by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief
London, 5 July 2022
It is a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to participate in this Ministerial Conference and reiterate the commitment of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) to advance freedom of religion or belief around the world.
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the DNA of our work as the leading UN platform to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue for conflict prevention and resolution.
In an increasingly complex and divided world, upholding the right of each individual to freedom of religion or belief is more crucial than ever. At UNAOC we are committed to working with member states, religious leaders, faith-based organizations, civil society and individuals in every country to fight against discrimination and stigmatization and uphold dialogue and respect for each other.
More specifically, Article 18 is one of the founding documents of the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, drafted by UNAOC in 2019, which offers a normative framework for all relevant stakeholders with specific recommendations to better prevent, prepare and respond to attacks on religious sites.
UNAOC continues to be committed to the implementation of the recommendations of the Plan, including by developing a phased approach to the mapping of religious sites in a number of pilot countries and by spearheading a global communications campaign under the hashtag #forsafeworship that I encourage you to join us in. We also pledge to continue to strengthen our current partnerships and look for new ones with actors inside and outside the UN for the implementation of the Plan.
Another example of our commitment to the implementation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is my role as the UN Focal Point to monitor and enhance a system-wide response to anti-Semitism. I pledge to continue to engage with member states, major Jewish organizations, relevant UN partners and regional organizations, to speak out against antisemitic attacks in their different manifestations, to mainstream the combat against antisemitism within the UN, and to work on a plan that will provide guidance on a coordinated and enhanced response to antisemitism anchored in human rights.
You can count on my unwavering determination and tireless efforts to fulfill UNAOC’s commitment to advancing freedom of religion or belief around the world and to support all of you in this fundamental cause to advance peace, dialogue and respect in the world.
Thank you very much.
Please also check out the panel discussion on the protection of cultural and religious heritage: