New York

09 January 2015

Secretary-General Press Encounter at the signing of the condolence book at the French Mission

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, could you tell us what you wrote and what your feelings are now that there have been reports that the perpetrators have been killed?

SG: I have expressed on behalf of the United Nations my most sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and Government of France on this unacceptable terrorist attack against the magazine Charlie Hebdo. Yesterday, I telephoned President Hollande and conveyed my messages again, expressing our condolences and also encouraging him to show courage in overcoming this tragedy and difficult situation. As you may remember yesterday when I had the press stakeout, I emphasized that this is not a country, a war against religion or between religions – it is not anything on religion or belief by somebody or some country. This is a purely unacceptable terrorist attack – criminality. This kind of criminality must be brought to justice, in the name of humanity. I am relieved that these terrorists have been killed by the authorities of the French government. I am urging all the people around the world that it is important to enhance the level of tolerance and respect for the belief, religion and tradition of others. When your religion, your belief is important, then we should know that the other people’s belief is also as important as ours. The United Nations promotes tolerance and inclusive dialogue. Whatever the grievances may be, then all these differences of views should be addressed in a peaceful manner through dialogue. There is nothing which we cannot resolve – the differences of opinion – through dialogue. I am urging again and I am sending my strong support to the courageous people of France and particularly those who are engaging in media to deliver the news. It is important that freedom of speech, freedom of media, opinion should be protected.

Q: A word in French?

SG : Je voudrais exprimer mes plus sincères condoléances aux familles des victimes et aussi au peuple et au Gouvernement de la France. Nous sommes solidaires avec le peuple de France pour faire face à cette tragédie. J’ai passé un coup de fil au Président Hollande hier. J’ai exprimé la solidarité de la communauté internationale. Nous nous sommes mis d’accord pour travailler étroitement pour faire face aux attaques terroristes. Merci.