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Tolerance must be taught, nurtured, defended – UN Secretary-General

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says, in a message on the International Day for Tolerance, that the world should recognize the mounting threat posed by those who strive to divide and  pledged to forge a path defined by dialogue, social cohesion and mutual understanding.

 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gestures during a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland Friday, Dec. 12, 2008. Ban says the latest "very sobering" assessment of the World Bank underscores the world's economic problems. The world should act with great urgency and compassion to ease economic distress. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

At the occasion, celebrated on November 16, Ban Ki-moon explained that the call to practice tolerance was written into the identity of the United Nations 70 years ago adding that people are more connected but this does not mean there is more understanding.

“Societies are ever more diverse but intolerance is growing in many places. Sectarian tensions can be found at the heart of many conflicts, with the rise of violent extremism, massive human rights violations and cultural cleansing. And the biggest crisis of forced displacement since the Second World War has spawned hatred and xenophobia against refugees and others”, he stated.
According to him, tolerance is stated more than passively accepting others, but it brings obligations to act, and must be taught, nurtured and defended, saying tolerance requires investment by states in people, and in the fulfilment of their full potentials through education, inclusion and opportunities which means building societies founded on respect for human rights, where fear, distrust and marginalization are supplanted by pluralism, participation and respect for differences.

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