Ahmedabad, India/New York

11 January 2015

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Paris march

The Secretary-General welcomes the march that took place today in Paris in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks in the city earlier this week, and in solidarity with victims of terrorism across the world.  Mr. Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, represented the United Nations at the march and joined in expressing the Organization’s revulsion for terrorism.

The Secretary-General renews his condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket, and of the policewoman who was murdered.  He has been deeply moved by the images of today’s march and the displays of global solidarity over the past few days. 

He is strongly committed to the essential work of countering extremism, fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, and upholding the rights to freedom of speech and expression. 

The Secretary-General calls for heightened efforts to promote tolerance and understanding.  In the past week alone, the world has seen horrific bombings and brutality, often with a sectarian dimension.  The world must address this violence and division in ways that do not exacerbate the problems and that ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law. 

In the aftermath of this week’s events in Paris, he warns in particular against targetting Muslims for reprisals.  Such unwarranted bias would only play into the hands of terrorists and contribute to the spiral of violence.

The Secretary-General reiterates his condemnation of terrorism; no cause and no grievance can justify such acts.  He calls on the international community to redouble its efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms.