Attributable to the Spokesperson of the High Representative for
the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
On the attack and destruction of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, Ukraine
New York- 24 July 2023
The High Representative condemns the Russian missile attack targeting the Orthodox Transfiguration Cathedral and other historical buildings in the port city of Odesa which resulted in a serious damage of the historical Cathedral.
The attack which took place early yesterday also resulted in civilian casualties.
The High Representative notes the preliminary assessment undertaken by UNESCO which identified 116 damaged religious sites in Ukraine and deplores the fact that the ongoing war in Ukraine has led to the destruction and/or pillaging of places of worship and religious heritage sites which has further fueled hatred, stoked mistrust and exacerbated the hostilities.
The High Representative notes that religious sites are representative of the history, identity and traditions of people in every country and community and must be fully respected and protected. An attack on places of worship strikes the very core of communities’ sense of identity and belonging.
The High Representative recalls the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites which highlights the universality of religious sites and calls for promoting mutual respect, cultural diversity and religious pluralism.
On behalf of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the High Representative expresses his sympathies to the victims’ families and wishes those injured a speedy recovery.