United Nations in the Russian Federation condemns the terrorist attack in Vladikavkaz

The United Nations in the Russian Federation condemns the outrageous terrorist attack at the market place in the central part of Vladikavkaz, the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, and expresses its condolences to the victims, relatives and friends of those hit by it. We also express our support and condolences to the Government of the Republic and the Government of the Russian Federation and hope that the number of victims will not increase.

We furthermore express our hope that those behind this appalling attack will be brought to justice. At the same time, it is important that the hunt for terrorists does not become intolerance for people of different ethnicity, faith or nationality.

This incident reminds us of the importance of building understanding between people of different nationalities, cultures and beliefs. It reminds us about the necessity of strengthening tolerance – tolerance to diversity but zero tolerance to violence and terrorism.

This tragic development was mentioned at the today’s meeting of the heads of UN Country Team in the Russian Federation with Mr Jorge Sampaio, Former President of the Portuguese Republic, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis and UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. Mr Sampaio is visiting Russia to hold bilateral consultations with Minister Lavrov and Deputy Minister Yakovenko as well as with other authorities aimed at developing closer cooperation with Russia in the framework of the Alliance.

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), established in 2005, is an initiative of the UN Secretary-General which aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions, and to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism.

The Alliance works in partnership with governments, international and regional organizations, civil society groups, foundations, and the private sector. It is supporting a range of projects and initiatives aimed at building bridges among a diversity of cultures and communities, and, in particular, between ‘Muslim’ and ‘Western’ societies.

As was mentioned by the participants of the meeting, the promotion of a culture of tolerance and non-discrimination to prevent xenophobia and related intolerance is at the focus of the United Nations work in the country. These activities are to a great extent targeted at youth, including in the framework of UNICEF projects in the North Caucasus, where it supports summer camps, which bring together children of different nationalities.

We trust that those, who are behind the atrocities, will be brought to justice. We shall be intolerant towards extremism, but not to different ethnicities, cultures, and faiths.