Religion is increasingly being used to incite violent extremism across the world, according to the President of the UN General Assembly.
Mogens Lykketoft made the statement at a debate on the Culture of Peace which took place on Thursday at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Daniel Dickinson reports.
Violence in many parts of the world is leading to the death and injury of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of many millions more the President of the General Assembly said.
In the last year, there have been major conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and South Sudan.
Acts of terror committed by fanatics across all regions has added not just to the number of causalities and displaced but have also created a culture of religious extremism and intolerance.
Here's, Mogens Lykketoft
"The rise of violent extremism, the high incidence of atrocity crimes, the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage and escalation in tensions among communities of different religions or beliefs in recent years has often been accompanied by incitement to violence, moreover using religion and belief as justification."
Mr Lykketoft said the challenge facing the UN and its Member States was how to build a culture of peace and non-violence in today's world.
And, he asked, how can a rapprochement of cultures and peoples be fostered?
Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.
Source: United Nations Radio.