UN adopts Egypt-backed resolution condemning offences against religious sites

Ahram Online , Friday 22 Jan 2021

Egypt, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia co-sponsored a resolution to promote a culture of peace and tolerance

Mohamed Idris
Egypt’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Mohamed Idris

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted an Egypt-backed resolution on promoting a culture of peace and tolerance, to safeguard sacred religious sites, according to a UN's statement.

The resolution, adopted by the assembly without a need to vote in a meeting on Thursday, was sponsored by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and other member states.
It stresses the need to reinforce tolerance, coexistence and basic values of acceptance, Egypt's Permanent Representative to the UN Mohamed Idris said.
"The resolution comes against the background of escalating religious intolerance and religion-based discrimination," a statement released by the Egyptian foreign ministry on Friday quoted Idris as saying.
According to the adopted resolution, all countries should take effective measures to counter national, racial or religious hatred calls that incite discrimination or violence, he pointed out.
During Thursday's meeting, the UNGA demanded "greater efforts to promote a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels."
Meanwhile, the UN secretary-general called for holding a global conference aimed at advancing the UN plan to safeguard religious sites, involving governments, political figures, religious leaders, civil society and the media, among other stakeholders.
Saudi Arabia's representative said the text condemns offences or mockery against religious sites and symbols, and rejects the use of violence to express any point of view, and finally aims at developing a culture of peace as a shield against extremism and intolerance.
The European Union representative underlined the 27-member state body's "staunch support of freedom of expression and belief."
"These values are at the core of our actions at the United Nations," the EU representative added.
He said this resolution is the second one presented by Egypt and adopted by the United Nations in just two months concerning the promotion of a culture of peace and religious freedom.
On 21 December, 2020 the UN adopted a resolution presented by Egypt and the UAE to declare February 4 as the International Day of Human Fraternity.
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