New York

24 September 2020

Secretary-General's video message for Appeal of Conscience Foundation

It is a pleasure to greet the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and my good friend Rabbi Arthur Schneier.
 
We gather virtually this year, as COVID-19 forces a necessary degree of separation upon us.
 
But we remain united in our work to advance interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence.
 
The Appeal of Conscience has done this vital work for decades.  Today that engagement is more important than ever.
 
Even before the pandemic, the world was experiencing an alarming rise in anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and violence targeting minorities, migrants, refugees and so many others.
 
The pandemic has exacerbated this hatred, and triggered other assaults on human rights.
 
We need to reaffirm our commitment to mutual understanding.
 
That means stepping up and speaking out in the face of vile views.
 
It means teaching children the values of equality and dignity.
 
And it means taking steps to respect the other.
 
That is the way out of the conflicts that mar our world, and the discrimination that harms our societies. 
 
It is the way toward strengthening social cohesion and building a future of justice, dignity and peace for all.
 
I look forward to our continued partnership in this essential work.
 
Thank you.