About the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites

In March 2019, following the attacks against mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the UN Secretary-General requested the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, to elaborate a Plan of Action to safeguard religious sites.

The Plan, which was developed in the context of an inclusive consultative process involving all relevant stakeholders, was officially launched by the UN Secretary-General on 12 September in New York. It is meant to provide a result-oriented framework for action with recommendations to help prevent possible attacks against religious sites and enhance preparedness and response.

The document is anchored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and relevant General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council resolutions. It also takes into account documents issued by religious entities promoting interfaith dialogue, tolerance and understanding.


The Plan is anchored in the following principles:



for all peoples, regardless of their faith, culture and history.


to build bridges of mutual understanding and cooperation.


to accept and respect the differences among human beings.



as a tool to better communicate and engage with one another.


to support and share compassion for one another, particularly in times of sorrow or trouble.

Standing together

as one to respond with unity to attempts to divide us.

Staying together

as one to ensure that unity in response to attacks against religious sites is sustained and reinforced overtime.

Action Areas

The Plan contains a framework for action with recommendations for Member States, religious leaders, civil society, media to better prevent, prepare and respond to attacks on religious sites.


  • Proactive and regular engagement in interfaith dialogue will help better understanding of different faiths and beliefs.
  • Education initiatives at the local level will help highlight the role of religious sites in bringing people together.
  • Active engagement in social media and the development of media content by religious leaders will contribute to make religious texts accessible to a wider audience.


  • Risk assessments at religious sites should be conducted regularly.
  • Sharing information with law enforcement and first responders about the particular features of religious sites can help in the case of attacks.
  • Community-level initiatives to disseminate information on risk assessment and preparedness, can help in preparing for the eventuality of an attack.


  • Response can be more efficient if there are national strategies and plans in place that include early-warning systems, emergency response, crisis management, security and resilience.
  • Sustained collaboration between all those involved in responding to attacks will help ensure a more efficient response to attacks against religious sites.
  • Engagement between law enforcement officers and the community can help build trust and provide concrete advice that can mitigate the effects of a potential attack.

Join the global call to action #forSafeWorship.

I believe in a world where hope surpasses fear. I am part of a global community that is inclusive of all people, regardless or religions or beliefs. I believe that religious sites are symbols of our shared humanity, history, and traditions. I commit to standing up and speaking out against violence against worshippers and religious sites, and to contributing to the safeguard of religious sites. I stand #forSafeWorship.

Thank you for taking the pledge #forSafeWorship.

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