TEHRAN, Jan. 18 (Press Shia Agency) – In a message to an event spotlighting the growing challenges of anti-Muslim discrimination as well as hatred in various contexts, UN Secretary General António Guterres appealed for drawing strength from the principles of inclusion, tolerance and mutual understanding to recognize the value of diversity.

The high-level event was organized by the Permanent Missions of Canada and the United States to the UN and the Delegation of the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday 17 January 2017.

Below is the full text of his remarks:

I thank all of you for coming together to take on the challenge of anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred. 

Anti-Muslim hate crimes and other forms of bigotry are on the rise. The same applies to xenophobia, racism and anti-semitism. In addition, many people are victims of intolerance and suspicions that may not appear in statistics – but degrade people’s dignity and our common humanity. 

In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats. 

We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbors as “the other”. 

Discrimination diminishes us all.  It prevents people – and societies – from achieving their full potential.

Let us draw strength from the values of inclusion, tolerance and mutual understanding that are at the heart of all major faiths and the United Nations Charter. 

As the Holy Quran states:  nations and tribes were created to know one another. 

People everywhere need to feel that their cultural identities are valued – and at the same time to have a strong sense of belonging to the community as a whole. 

As societies become ever more multi-ethnic and multi-religious, we need political, cultural and economic investments in cohesion, so that diversity is rightly seen as a richness, not a threat.

The United Nations is launching an effort to promote respect, safety and dignity for all.  We call it the Together campaign. 

Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights.

Together, let us build bridges.

Together, let us transform fear into hope. 

For our Muslim brothers and sisters – and for all humanity. 

Thank you.