Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today visited the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations to offer, on behalf of the Organization, his condolences to the families of the victims of the terrorist attack on the offices of French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.
Mr. Ban signed the book of condolences that was opened in the wake of the attack and reiterated comments he made yesterday during a press stakeout at UN Headquarters.
“This is not a war against religion or between religions,” he said. “This is a purely unacceptable terrorist attack – criminality.”
He stressed that such criminality had to be brought to justice “in the name of humanity” and underlined that the UN promotes tolerance and inclusive dialogue.
“I am urging all the people around the world that it is important to enhance the level of tolerance and respect for the beliefs, religions and traditions of others,” he said. “When your religion, your belief is important, then we should know that the other people's belief is also as important.”
He said that grievances and differences of views should be addressed in a peaceful manner, and stressed that dialogue can resolve any difference of opinion.
Offering his strong support to the people of France, especially those working in media, he emphasized their right to do their jobs in safety.
“It is important that freedom of speech, freedom of media [and ] opinion should be protected,” he said.