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Condemn all incitement to hatred, violence based on religion or belief: UN chief

UN chief Antonio Guterres.

United Nations | Xinhua | UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on states, faith leaders and other influential actors to condemn all incitement to hatred and violence based on religion or belief.

“Only a collective, inclusive, and society-wide effort can result in safe co-existence for all and end this blight on our societies,” he said in a message for the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, which falls on Aug. 22.

Despite the UN General Assembly instituting the day in 2019, people worldwide continue to face intolerance and violence based on religion or belief. Hate speech, online or offline, continues to fuel violence against vulnerable members of society, including ethnic and religious minorities, he said. “We must do more to support victims and examine the conditions that drive intolerance and hate.”

States have the responsibility to prevent and address discrimination and violence inflicted in the name of religion or belief. They should promote inclusion, diversity, tolerance and interfaith and intercultural dialogue policies, he said.

Human rights violations carried out in the name of religion or belief must be investigated and punished. Victims should receive adequate reparations in compliance with international human rights law, said the UN chief.

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