UN head asks for further efforts against hate speech

United Nations: In a message to commemorate the second anniversary of the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for increased efforts to combat the “toxic and destructive phenomenon” of hate speech.

On Monday he said, “Hate speech is used to stoke fear and division, often for political gain, and at immense cost to communities and societies”.
Guterres added that hate speech incites violence, exacerbates tensions, and impedes efforts to foster mediation and dialogue. It is one of the warning signs of genocide and other atrocity crimes, he said.

The UN chief’s message was delivered by Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide, at a high-level event to commemorate the international day, which is officially observed on June 18, at the UN headquarters in New York.

Speaking at the event, UN General Assembly President Csaba Korosi said that countering hate speech is a key component of atrocity prevention, calling for more global action towards endigating it, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Hate speech is an attack on human dignity and one of the most toxin forms of misinformation. We must address it because we know that hate speech leads to hate crimes”, he added.
Korosi noted that the International Day for Countering Hate Speech encourages everyone to do their part by identifying hate speech early, confronting it directly and halting it immediately.

In July 2021, the UN General Assembly highlighted global concerns over “the exponential spread and proliferation of hate speech” around the world and adopted resolution on “promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech”.

The resolution proclaimed June 18 as the International Day for Countering Hate Speech.

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