Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Marking the International Day of Human Fraternity on Friday, the United Nations’ Secretary-General issued a stark warning over rising hate speech, intolerance, discrimination and physical violence.
According to António Guterres, the hateful attacks are being directed at some, “simply because of their religion or belief, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.”
The UN chief’s message was broadcast during a virtual panel discussion with Member States, religious leaders, faith actors and civil society representatives, organized by the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in partnership with the Permanent Missions of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The designation of 4 February as the International Day of Human Fraternity is the result of a UN General Assembly resolution adopted in December 2020, as a way to promote greater cultural and religious tolerance.
Celebrating the date for the second time, the UN chief said it should be an opportunity to reflect on the importance of cultural and religious understanding, and mutual respect.
“I am grateful to religious leaders across the world who are joining hands to promote dialogue and interfaith harmony”, Mr. Guterres said.
The Secretary-General also highlighted the declaration, Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, co-authored by the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Egyptian Islamic scholar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, calling it “a model for compassion and human solidarity.”
“We need this spirit more than ever”, he declared.