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United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites: A global communications campaign to foster dialogue, mutual respect and understanding
14 Feb 2020 -  The event will contribute to the implementation of the UN Plan of Action to safeguard religious sites and will feed into the global communications campaign recommended by the Plan.
The UN Plan of Action also recommends that 2020 World Interfaith Harmony Week be dedicated to the protection of religious sites and stresses the importance of interfaith dialogue, which can translate into enhanced respect for religious sites of different faiths and the recognition of their universality as symbols of our shared humanity, history, social fabric and traditions.
The event will consist of a panel discussion followed by an interactive dialogue that will look into the role that global youth and the global faith community can play to create connections to religious sites that can help celebrate their universality, underscore the role of individuals in protecting religious sites, and contribute to fostering dialogue, mutual respect and understanding. Building on the principles of the Plan, namely, respect, responsibility, diversity, dialogue, solidarity, standing together and staying together, the event will help identify issues and recommendations that will feed into the global communications campaign.
Religious sites are representative of the history, social fabric and traditions of people in every country and community all over the planet and must be fully respected as places of peace and harmony where worshippers feel safe to practice their rituals.
In the wake of the attacks against mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the United Nations Secretary-General requested the High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations to develop a Plan of Action for the United Nations to explore actions to prevent attacks and guarantee the sanctity of religious sites and the safety of worshippers.
This Plan is a global call to rally around our most basic tenets of humanity and solidarity and to reaffirm the sanctity of all religious sites and the safety of all worshippers who visit houses of worship in a spirit of compassion and respect.