Why in News?
• The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution to promote a culture of peace and tolerance to safeguard religious sites.
• It invites all member states, the UN system, regional and non-governmental organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to support UN initiatives that promote tolerance, including the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites.
• The resolution was proposed by Saudi Arabia and was co-sponsored by several other nations.
• The resolution adopted calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue on the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and for the diversity of religions and beliefs.
• It condemns all acts or threats of violence, destruction, damage or endangerment, directed against religious sites and denounces any moves to obliterate or forcibly convert any religious sites.
• The resolution calls on the UN to continue to develop strategies, educational initiatives, and global communications campaigns and tools aimed at strengthening the protection of religious sites and cultural heritage, fostering mutual respect and understanding, enhancing media awareness, and countering religious intolerance and hate speech.
What is the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites?
• United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites was adopted in September 2019.
• United Nations Alliance of Civilizations will lead and monitor the plan.
• The UN Plan of Action provides an action-oriented framework with recommendations to support relevant stakeholders, including the Member States, religious leaders, civil society organizations, the news media, and social media platforms, in preventing attacks against places of worship and guaranteeing the safety of the faithful to worship in peace.
• The Plan supports governments in their efforts to protect religious sites and places a strong focus on prevention, exploring actions to address drivers that can result in violent attacks against holy sites and worshippers.
Source: Business Standard