No immunity to intolerance, says UN General Assembly President

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A wide view of the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Intolerance and violent extremism continue to be obstacles to human development, according to the President of the UN General Assembly.

Sam Kutesa was speaking at the start of a debate in New York on promoting tolerance and reconciliation.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.

Senior government officials attended the UN General Assembly debate under the theme "Fostering Peaceful Societies and Countering Violent Extremism".

The President of the UN General Assembly, Sam Kutesa said that around the world people, communities and nations are grappling what he described as "a disquieting rise of radicalization and violent extremism".

He said this is fuelled by identity-based conflicts as well as cultural and religious tensions.

Mr. Kutesa said that with troubling frequency violent attacks are being carried out against innocent civilians in places of worship, museums, supermarkets, schools and historical sites.

"These abhorrent crimes claim the lives of innocent men, women (and) children indiscriminately, leaving devastated families and communities in their wake. From Paris to Tunis, from Garisa to Bamako, from Johannesburg to Peshawar, no person, society or nation is immune from intolerance and the threat of terrorism or violent extremism." (21")

Mr Kutesa said that given today's globalized world, it is incumbent on the international community to address serious challenges posed by violent extremism.

He warned that divisions within communities and among nations can create what he called "deep fault lines" that foster discontent and frustration.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations

Duration: 1'23

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