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On this first International Day commemorating the victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief, we pay tribute to all those around the world who lost their lives and suffered attacks because of their religion or belief. Persecution as a response to religious belief or affiliation, or lack thereof, is a violation of international law and requires joint work to combat it.

On the eve of a possible agreement to end the war in Afghanistan, more than 60 people lost their lives and more than 150 were wounded in an attack targeting a wedding ceremony in Kabul. What should have been a joyous and festive occasion has been tragically taken away by this act of terror, which again targets the ethnic and religious communities of the Hazara and Shia. 
 
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The European Union and Canada recall their close relations with Hong Kong under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and their strong stake in its continued stability and prosperity.

 

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The European Union (EU) is an economic and political partnership between 28 European countries. It plays an important role in international affairs through diplomacy, trade, development aid and working with global organisations. Abroad, the EU is represented through more than 140 diplomatic representations, known also as EU Delegations, which have a similar function to those of an embassy. 

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The European Commission, through its Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, has allocated €8.5 million to support Sri Lankan efforts to prevent violent extremism, build community resilience, and promote peace and tolerance.

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In light of the continuing unrest and the increase in violent incidents in Hong Kong, it is crucial that all sides exercise restraint, reject all kinds of violence, and take urgent steps to de-escalate the situation.


It is now more vital than ever to engage in a political process of broad-based and inclusive dialogue, involving all key stakeholders.

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This year's International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is dedicated to Indigenous Peoples’ Languages. Around 5,000 of the 7,000 languages spoken in the world are indigenous, and one of them dies every two weeks. The EU invests €500 million every year on education programmes to revitalize these ancient communication tools in 60 countries across the world.

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