UN launches first world interfaith harmony week

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UNITED NATIONS, February 1 (Xinhua)

The United Nations launched the first world interfaith harmony week on Tuesday, which will include the participation of UN entities, civil society and intergovernmental organizations, according to UN officials.

In November 2010, the UN General Assembly dedicated the first week of February to promoting the message of interfaith harmony and tolerance amongst religions.

In a message to mark the event, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said the week offers an opportunity to focus on interfaith movements and individuals around the world, including their efforts in supporting peace.

"Respect for diversity and peaceful dialogue are essential if the human family is to cooperate globally to face shared threats and seize common opportunities," he said.

"That is why efforts by states, civil society and other actors to build trust among communities and individuals lie at the heart of so many United Nations initiatives," Ban added.

To mark the occasion, events are scheduled all over the world throughout the week, including in India, Jordan, South Africa, Australia and the United States to highlight interfaith dialogue and understanding.