New York – 16 November 2023
On the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance, I wish to recall the United Nations General Assembly resolution that led to the adoption of the International Day for Tolerance in 1996, which encourages mutual respect and appreciation for, and acceptance of, the rich tapestry of humanity.
These core values are enshrined in the United Nations Charter as a determination “to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours”. These are the values embraced by UNAOC.
In an increasingly multicultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic world, tolerance based on mutual respect is inextricably linked to achieving the robust, inclusive multilateralism required to solve intractable global social, security, and humanitarian challenges.
The world’s major religions espouse tolerance and peaceful coexistence in a spirit of shared humanity. Therefore, we must not only reject but also resolve to stand up against forces that attempt to falsely and maliciously invoke religion to aggravate misconceptions, fuel divisions, and spread fear and hatred.
I wish to renew my unequivocal commitment to advance a zero-tolerance policy of all forms of discrimination and hate based on religion or belief as well as stand up against all acts of violence against places of worship that are motivated by religious hatred, including Islamophobia, antisemitism, and Christianophobia. I also invite the global community to join UNAOC’s global Call to Action #forSafeWorship to safeguard religious sites and worshippers worldwide.
In the spirit of the International Day for Tolerance, I encourage each and every one of us to embrace diversity and our shared humanity and seek our own ways to advance mutual respect and human dignity.