United Nations Secretary General António Guterres believes the world is reaching a pivotal moment in battling hatred and extremism.

In a strongly worded statement, the UN Chief pointed to a disturbing groundswell of intolerance and hate-based violence in the aftermath of an attack on a synagogue in the United States in San Diego where a gunman opened fire on Saturday; killing a 60-year-old woman and injuring three others.

The attack took place exactly six months after a similar attack at a synagogue that left 11 dead in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

In Burkina Faso, armed attackers killed five worshippers in a church in the small northern town of Silgadji over this past weekend.

Guterres says the UN has begun devising a plan to tackle hate speech while exploring how better the organisation’s system can be used to help ensure the safety of religious sanctuaries.

He further urged governments, civil society and other partners to work together to uphold values to counter levels of extremism and hate.

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