Press Release: Bringing Plan to Action in Vienna

The Meeting on the Implementation of the Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence that Could Lead to Atrocity Crimes (the Plan of Action) will take place in the Vienna International Center, United Nations Office in Vienna, from 13-15 February 2018.

The Plan of Action – the first specifically designed to enable religious leaders to prevent and counter incitement to violence – was launched by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on July 2017 at a meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York.  The Plan of Action is pioneering both in its focus on the role of religious leaders and actors, and in the wide range of organizations and stakeholders that contributed to its development. It contains concrete recommendations to prevent incitement to violence, strengthen communities’ resistance to incitement to violence, and build mechanisms for a united response.  Secretary-General Guterres called for its widest dissemination and implementation.

The Plan of Action was developed in response to an alarming spike in recent years in hate speech and incitement to violence against individuals or communities, based on their identity. It is the result of two years of intensive consultations at the global and regional levels organized by the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect with the support of the KAICIID International Dialogue Centre, the World Council of Churches, and the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers.

The Meeting on the Implementation of the Plan of Action will gather religious leaders and actors from different faith and denominations, representatives from secular and religious civil society, new and traditional media, Member States, multilateral organizations and United Nations entities.  Participants will discuss practical ways to implement the Plan of Action and will identify priorities for its implementation in different regions, based on the thematic areas identified by the Plan of Action, including the prevention of incitement to gender violence and violent extremism, increasing collaboration with education institutions and the media, strengthening interfaith dialogue and fostering peaceful, inclusive and just societies.

Implementation of the Plan of Action will contribute to the prevention of atrocity crimes, especially in areas affected by religious and sectarian tensions and violence and enhance the respect, protection and promotion of human rights, including the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of religion or belief and peaceful assembly.

For more information, please contact: Simona Cruciani (cruciani@un.org, +1 917 367 5430) or Anna Tervahartiala (anna.tervahartiala@kua.fi, +358 40 621 3517)

To read the Plan of Action, visit: www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents

For more information on how the Peacemakers Network is involved in the implementation of the Plan of Action, we welcome you to see: