UN pledges commitment to tackling anti-Muslim hatred, bigotry

by Akeem Alao
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UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has pledged his total commitment to rejecting anti-Muslim bigotry, hate and all forms of intolerance.

Guterres disclosed this in his remarks to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states on “COVID-19 Solidarity: Promoting Co-Existence and Shared Responsibility”.

He solicited joint efforts to curtail ethno-nationalism, stigma and hate speech against vulnerable communities.

“Now more than ever, solidarity and unity must be our leading principles… We also need solidarity in speaking out against the rise in ethno-nationalism, stigma and hate speech targeting vulnerable communities and exacerbating suffering.

“You have my total commitment to actively challenge inaccurate and harmful messages, promote non-violence and reject anti-Muslim bigotry, hate and all forms of intolerance,” he said.

Guterres added that “The pandemic has revealed the world’s inter connections, inter-dependence and also our fragility.

Our world is like one body. As long as one part is affected by this virus, we all are affected”.

The UN chief therefore urged that the world should embrace mercy, compassion, dignity, mutual respect, understanding, unity and solidarity.

As the world faces a humanitarian and economic crisis due to the pandemic, Guterres underlined the need for solidarity for a large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive health response, guided by the World Health Organization, with a focus on developing countries, pooling efforts for those at greatest risk, and strengthening health systems as well as humanitarian response.

“Solidarity in tackling the devastating social and economic dimensions of the crisis – keeping households afloat and businesses solvent. And prioritising the most affected: women, older people, children, low-wage earners and other vulnerable groups.

“Solidarity for peace. And I thank so many of you for supporting my appeal for a global ceasefire to focus on the fight against the virus,” he said.

While expressing his gratitude to governments and people throughout the Muslim world, he appreciated the Islamic tradition of “hospitality and generosity.

The OIC, an international organisation comprising 57 member states, states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”.

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