UN adopts resolution on fighting terrorism with Turkey's initiative

Published 04.04.2019 00:41

The U.N. General Assembly's 73rd plenary meeting on Tuesday unanimously adopted a draft resolution on the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia. The resolution was introduced through Turkey's initiative.

The document was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15. Its co-authors were joined by more than 30 states. The document was presented to the U.N. General Assembly by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

The document stated that it "condemns in the strongest terms the heinous, cowardly terrorist attack aimed at Muslim worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, 2019, and expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and the people of New Zealand." The U.N. General Assembly also "urges all states to work together to protect individuals against acts of violence, discrimination and hate crimes based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

The document notes the need "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."

Speaking at the assembly meeting, Çavuşoğlu urged nations to reject all forms of terrorism and said Islamophobia is a big threat to the world.

"Islamophobia and racism go hand in hand," Çavuşoğlu said, referring to the Christchurch attacks, where a white nationalist terrorist killed at least 50 Muslim worshipers. The terrorist was condemned by countries all across the world, with New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern describing it as one of the darkest days in her nation's history.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also held an emergency meeting, at the request of Turkey, and requested the U.N. name March 15, the date the attack happened, as a day of solidarity against Islamophobia.

Çavuşoğlu said there should be a declaration put forth so that nations can mobilize in a global manner to show that all people and countries are a part of humanity. "We cannot ignore violence," he said. "We have to have one common voice against these acts of violence." Turkey's top diplomat also told the U.N. that terrorism should not be associated with any religion.

"We should all reject the use of words such as Islamic terrorism, Christian terrorism, Jewish terrorism or Buddhist terrorism," Çavuşoğlu said.

He added that the ideology of terrorism "does not have a religion, a language, a race or nation."

Last year, then-U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Wess Mitchell said Turkey suffered more casualties from terrorism over the past few years than any other American ally.

Ankara is a part of the international coalition to defeat Daesh and has been also fighting against the PKK, the People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

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