* A statement issued by the United Nations
The United Nations Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres on Friday tasked the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Moratinos, to develop an Action Plan for the United Nations to be fully engaged in support of safeguarding religious sites.
The announcement was made during an event at the Islamic Center today in New York to pay respects to the victims of the recent terrorist attack that killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and show solidarity and support for the Muslim community worldwide.
"Mosques and all places of prayer and contemplation should be safe havens, not sites of terror," the Secretary-General said.
"Worshippers must feel safe to worship".
The Secretary-General asked UNAOC to reach out to governments and faith-based organizations, religious leaders and others to explore actions to prevent attacks and guarantee the sanctity or religious sites.
He added that he is "making a global call to reaffirm the sanctity of all places of worship and safety of all worshippers who visit revered sites in a spirit of compassion and tolerance".