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International Day for Tolerance

Statement attributable to the President of the General Assembly

United Nations, New York, 16 November 2013

As we commemorate this International Day for Tolerance let us reflect on the goals and commitments on global tolerance adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

The mission of the United Nations is to serve humanity and to advance the quality of life and well-being of people across the globe. The United Nations General Assembly adopted a set of principles nearly twenty years ago that was designed to promote cultural diversity. It also declared this day in November as a time for renewing our commitment to tolerance.

As President of the 68th General Assembly, I call on all member States to support initiatives that foster respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, races and religions. We must actively seek ways to reduce violence, especially against women and children, and to cultivate respect for diversity as a central part of the post-2015 development agenda.

Intolerance, inequity and poverty are often intertwined and I am inspired by the courage and hope of those who live in these dire conditions. I call on the international community of nations to remain actively engaged in the global struggle against intolerance and to foster understanding, acceptance and mutual respect between people the world over.