New Delhi: The G20 grouping strongly deplored all acts of religious hatred against persons, religious symbols and holy books. The leaders of the grouping who met under India’s presidency here adopted the Delhi Declaration in which they emphasised the freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.
“We note the UNGA Resolution A/RES/77/318, particularly its commitment to promote respect for religious and cultural diversity, dialogue and tolerance. We also emphasize that freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion or expression, the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to freedom of association are interdependent, inter-related and mutually reinforcing and stress the role that these rights can play in the fight against all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.
“In this regard, we strongly deplore all acts of religious hatred against persons, as well as those of a symbolic nature without prejudice to domestic legal frameworks, including against religious symbols and holy books,” the G20 said in its joint declaration.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his introductory remarks at the start of the G20 meeting said, “India is a land of diversity of faith, spirituality and traditions. Many major religions of the world were born here, and every religion of the world has found respect here.”
“As the ‘mother of democracy,’ our belief in dialogue and democratic principles has been unwavering since time immemorial. Our global conduct is rooted in the fundamental principle of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,’ which means ‘world is one family’, Modi said in his speech.