Kofi Annan Calls for Respect, Not Tolerance, Between Faiths and Cultures

September 14, 2004

Source: UN News Centre


On September 14, 2004 the UN News Centre reported, "If people of different faiths and cultures are to rebuild trust and confidence again after tensions caused by conflicts and acts of terrorism, then they must actively learn about and respect the beliefs and traditions of each other- and not just grudgingly accept them, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today. Mr. Annan told the annual inter-faith service of commitment to the UN's work, held at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York and attended by representatives of more than 20 faiths, that tolerance is essential and should be defined broadly. 'Tolerance cannot just be a grudging forbearance of other people's differences. Tolerance is not a synonym for "putting up with" other people's perceived peculiarities,' he said. The Secretary-General stressed that suspicion and prejudice between cultures can only be overcome when there is 'an active effort to learn more about each other, to understand the wellsprings of those differences, and to discover what is best in each other's beliefs and traditions.'"

See also: Interfaith