“Includes Jewish and Hindu temples.” The United Nations adopts a Saudi resolution on holy places

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On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a “culture of peace and tolerance to protect religious sites”, presented by Saudi Arabia, which plans to organize a global conference to support this goal.

The text calls on “the international community to redouble its efforts to encourage dialogue at the global level regarding the promotion at all levels of a culture of tolerance and peace based on respect for human rights and the diversity of religions and beliefs.”

The Saudi ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Al-Muallami, said, “Religious sites are facilities for peace, representing the history and social fabric of individuals.”

“It is painful to see these religious sites threatened or destroyed, whether they are Islamic mosques, Christian churches, synagogues, Hindu temples or Sikhs,” he added, denouncing any attack that affects them.

In its non-binding decision but of great political value, the United Nations condemns “all acts of violence, threats, destruction, insults or endangering religious sites.” It also condemns “any act aimed at destroying or changing any religious site by force.”

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, is called to convene a global conference that brings together United Nations entities, Member States, politicians, religious leaders, religious organizations, the media, civil society and interested parties. But no date has been set yet for this conference.

The aim is “to help mobilize political support for measures aimed at strengthening the United Nations Action Plan for the Protection of Religious Places,” according to the text. The Saudi initiative supported about thirty countries, including Egypt, the Emirates, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan and Venezuela.

The text includes an article affirming that “freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association are all closely related, closely related and mutually reinforcing matters.”

The European Union and the United States confirmed their agreement to the Saudi text after making important amendments to it during the negotiations. In particular, the federation said that freedom of expression and media freedom, as well as the right to atheism, must be respected.





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