Hate speech incites violence, undermines diversity and social cohesion and “threatens the common values and principles that bind us together,” the UN chief said in his message for the first-ever International Day for Countering Hate Speech.
He explained that words can be weaponized and cause physical harm.
“The internet and social media have turbocharged hate speech, enabling it to spread like wildfire across borders,” added the UN chief.
In response to this growing threat, three years ago, Mr. Guterres launched the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech - a new framework to support Member States in countering the scourge, while also managing to respect freedom of expression and opinion.
And last year, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue to counter hate speech – and proclaimed the International Day.