International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief

Following an unprecedented rise of violence against religious communities and people
belonging to religious minorities, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming
the 22nd of August as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence
Based on their Religion or Belief.

Following this decision, it is expected that all Member States, as well as the civil society
and the private sector, actively observe this International Day and play an important role in
promoting the freedom of religion or belief. It is a calling and an opportunity for a more serious
involvement to combat intolerance, discrimination and violence against people on the basis of
their religion or belief and to promote interfaith initiatives.

We have to work together with all capable entities to enhance the implementation of
international human rights standards that protect individuals against discrimination and acts of
violence based on religion or belief. It is important that we also increase inter-religious, interfaith
and intercultural initiatives, and expand human rights education in an comprehensive manner
as a key catalyst for change.

Acts of terror are intended to intimidate members of religious communities and, as a result, to
hold them back from practicing their faith.

This international day is an occasion to educate the general public on the issues of religious
liberty and to mobilize religious groups, mass media and politicians to address this growing
problem. The existence of this international day is another opportunity for us and could prove
to be a powerful advocacy tool.

The international observances page is one of the most visited pages on the UN website, with
each international day having a dedicated website, available in the UN’s six official languages.
Governments, the civil society, the public and private sectors, schools and universities are more
receptive to this subject and we have to use this context to organize activities related to this topic.

Dr. Nelu Burcea, Liaison To the United Nations