The UN Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated
that freedom of belief is “an inalienable human right” as he opened his statement on the International Day Honoring Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.
“Yet, throughout the world, individuals and groups, particularly minorities, experience intolerance, discrimination, and threats to their places of worship, means of subsistence, and even lives,” he stated.
“Hatred stirred online and offline is often the cause.”
The official UN Day offers a chance to honor those who have lost their lives as a result of persecution primarily due to their religion and to “renew our resolve to stamp out the hate speech that fuels these terrible acts of intolerance.”
Initiatives provide answers.
Mr. Guterres listed programs that serve as a guide for doing this, including his Call to Action for Human Rights and the UN Strategy and Plan of Action against Hate Speech.
He continued, “I implore all governments to prevent and deal with acts of violence based on religion and belief.
“I call on everyone to speak out against hate and incitement to violence, especially political, community, and religious leaders.”
Before the Summit of the Future the following year, he urged prominent politicians, tech firms, and other stakeholders to support the UN in developing a voluntary Code of Conduct for Information Integrity on Digital Platforms, specifically to address hate speech online.
more respect and inclusivity
Together, let’s work to create a more welcoming, courteous, and peaceful society where diversity is valued. That way, we can honor the victims of violence.
The UN General Assembly established the Day in 2019 in response to widespread abuses endured by vulnerable populations, including migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and members of minorities who are persecuted because of their religion or worldview.
Several decades passed before adopted, according to a large group of independent. In a statement, they acknowledged the “great suffering brought about by the disregard and infringement of human rights, including of freedom of religion or belief.”
Needed: “Far greater determination”
The emphasis in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that the use of religion or belief for ends inconsistent with the UN Charter or other instruments “is inadmissible and condemnable” has special resonance as the world celebrates the UDHR’s 75th anniversary this year.
They stated that this year’s International Day “offers the opportunity to make visible the multiple, daily, and egregious violence that takes place based on religion or belief, and to seek to respond to its root causes, urgently, and with far greater determination.” This was 42 years after the 1981 Declaration was made.