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UN chief meets NZ mosque victims, decries online hate

AFP  |  Christchurch 

UN Antonio warned hate speech was spreading online "like wildfire" at a meeting with victims of the Tuesday, vowing the world body will lead efforts to extinguish the problem.

visited the Al Noor mosque, one of two Muslim centres in the city where a self-described white supremacist killed 51 people in a March 15 shooting that the attacker live-streamed on

The UN is travelling the to highlight the impact of climate change but said he also wanted to show his support for Christchurch's Muslim community during

"I know there are no words to relieve the hurt and sorrow and pain, but I wanted to come here personally to transmit love, support and total and complete admiration," he said.

He told victims of the worst mass shooting in modern history that there had been "a dangerous upsurge in hatred" as was exploited to promote bigotry.

"Hate speech is spreading like wildfire in We must extinguish it," the Portuguese said.

"There is no room for hate speech - online or offline." He highlighted a previously announced plan for his on genocide prevention Adama Dieng to combat

He said was to "bring together a team to scale up our response to hate speech and present a global plan of action".

His remarks come as Jacinda Ardern, who hosted when he arrived in on Sunday, embarks on her own quest to tame in this week.

Ardern will co-host a meeting of world leaders and tech firms to promote a "Christchurch call" aimed at curbing

She has been highly critical of in the wake of the Christchurch killings, saying they should be "taking ownership and responsibility over their platforms".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 11:21 IST