UN officials present action plan to Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Miguel Moratinos, and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on Wednesday visited Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shia cleric, in Najaf and presented an action plan to safeguard religious sites.
Press Statement: On the Meeting of the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the SRSG for #Iraq with His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani— UNAMI (@UNIraq) December 7, 2022
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“High Representative Moratinos lauded His Eminence’s wisdom and compassion. He expressed how deeply moved he was by His Eminence’s moderate approach and consistent appeals for mutual respect and unity to prevail in support of diversity and peaceful co-existence,” the UNAMI mission said in a press statement.
Moreover, they recalled a meeting between Pope Francis and Sistani in March 2021 and discussed the importance of inter-religious dialogue.
UNAOC head Moratinos also presented the “United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites”, developed in 2019 in the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks in New Zealand, which is a global call to ensure that people are allowed to practice their faith and observe their rituals in peace.
Earlier the plan was also presented to Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb. “With today’s meeting, Moratinos said, three major religious leaders represented through the Vatican, Cairo, and Najaf, have been engaged,” UNAMI said.