The UN secretary-general António Guterres has said the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering, and appealed for an all-out effort to end hate speech globally.
He said anti-foreigner
sentiment has surged online and on the streets, and highlighted the spread of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Covid-19-related anti-Muslim attacks.
Guterres called on the media, especially social media, to remove racist, misogynist and other
harmful content, on civil society to strengthen their outreach to vulnerable people, and on religious figures to serve as models of mutual respect. He added somewhat hopefully:
And I ask everyone, everywhere, to stand up
against hate, treat each other with dignity and take every opportunity to spread kindness.