On January 21, 2021, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for greater efforts to protect religious sites from acts of terrorism.
Titled “Promoting a culture of peace and tolerance to safeguard religious sites,” the resolution calls upon U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres to convene an international conference to discuss the best practices for implementing the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites.
The resolution stated, “Religious sites are representative of the history, social fabric and traditions of people in every country and community all over the world and should be fully respected as such.”
Passed at a time of growing tensions and threats against culturally and spiritually significant sites, the resolution denounces “all attacks on and in religious places, sites and shrines … including any deliberate destruction of relics and monuments” and condemns “all acts or threats of violence, destruction, damage or endangerment, directed against religious sites as such, that continue to occur in the world, and denounces any moves to obliterate or forcibly convert any religious sites.”
Member states are invited to “enhance education and capacity-building to counter incitement to violence through fostering the messages of unity, solidarity and interreligious and intercultural dialogue.”
As states work together to promote peace and dialog, the U.N. hopes that an emphasis on the cultural exchange of ideas will help tear down barriers, erode stereotypes, that foment peace and cooperation.
Source: The Catholic Telegraph