Religion-Based Violence among World’s Greatest Threats, Secretary-General Tells Global Anti-Semitism Forum, Urging Collective Rejection of Bigotry

SG/SM/18040
7 September 2016

Religion-Based Violence among World’s Greatest Threats, Secretary-General Tells Global Anti-Semitism Forum, Urging Collective Rejection of Bigotry

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for the High-Level Forum on Global Anti-Semitism, in New York, today:

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I thank the Governments of Canada, Israel, the United States and the Delegation of the European Union for organizing this important forum.  Anti-Semitism is one of the world’s oldest, most pervasive and deadliest forms of hatred.  Despite the lessons of history and the horror of the Holocaust, Jews continue to be targeted for murder and abuse solely because they are Jews.

Violence against people because of their religious identity or beliefs is an assault on the core values of the United Nations.  Such bigotry is also one of today’s greatest threats.

Alongside a global rise in anti-Semitism, we are also seeing many other alarming forms of discrimination — in particular hatred and stereotyping directed at today’s refugees and migrants.  I am appalled by those who fan the flames of religious bigotry for political gain.  Such intolerance and opportunism does more than poison young minds and hearts, it poisons all of society.

Time and again, history has shown that those who attack one minority today, will target another tomorrow.  Discrimination does not discriminate. 

Let us reject bigotry, uphold human rights and build bridges across communities.  Let us join forces for peaceful coexistence and a life of dignity for all.

For information media. Not an official record.