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UN condemns violence targeting individuals based on religion, belief
April 04,2019   By:Xinhua
UNITED NATIONS, April 4, 2019 -- UN General Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution that strongly condemns continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals, including persons belonging to religious minorities, based on religion or belief.
 
In the wake of the horrific attack at two New Zealand mosques, in which 50 people were killed and 50 others injured in March, the assembly on Tuesday convened the meeting and adopted the anti-hate resolution, titled "Combating terrorism and other acts of violence based on religion or belief."
 
The assembly condemned "in the strongest terms" the heinous, cowardly terrorist attack aimed at Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, and expressed its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and the people of that country.
 
The assembly urged all countries to protect and promote freedom of religion and belief and to foster a domestic environment of religious tolerance, peace and respect.
 
Introducing the resolution, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the assembly that the international community "must stand up against the spiral of hate."
 
Sending condolences to the families of the Muslims who were killed in Christchurch in a clearly planned terrorist attack, he said that "Islamophobia and racism go hand in hand."
 
He also criticized the actions of "reckless politicians" who often use distorted historical narratives and toxic conspiracy theories "to equate Islam with terrorism."
 
The draft of the resolution proposed by Turkey declares that the member states are "deeply alarmed by all terrorist attacks against places of worship that are motivated by religious hatred, including antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred."
 
Craig J. Hawke, permanent representative of New Zealand to the UN, told the meeting that after the horrific attack, New Zealand is taking action "to stop such a senseless attack in the future," including the announcement of "new, stronger gun control laws."
 
"All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on March 15 will be banned," he said.
 
"The government is addressing the role social media platforms played in these events, and is identifying steps we can take, including on the international stage, with our partners," he added.
 
"Condemnations of violence and terrorism must now turn to a collective response. We all have a part to play. New Zealand is committed to turning our despair into meaningful action," he noted.
 
Charles Whiteley, first counsellor of the delegation of the European Union to the UN, said that "it is in that spirit of solidarity that we gather together here today - to make plain our opposition to those who sow hatred against those practicing their religion or beliefs and our determination to do more to make sure that such hatred no longer finds its articulation in terrible acts of terrorism."
 
"That resolution underscores the deep concern felt by the international community at rising discrimination, violence and intolerance directed against religious communities. The EU has also sought to bring a focus to bear on the major challenges faced by persons belonging to faith communities or minorities across the world, including in Europe," he said.
 
Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the UN, hailed the adoption of the resolution that was amended to include a specific condemnation of antisemitism as "an Israeli achievement at the UN."
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