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Remembering the Christchurch attacks and the power of standing united

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Remembering the Christchurch attacks and the power of standing united

This statement may be attributed to Adrian Edwards, UNHCR Regional Representative for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
15 March 2024
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Five years ago, the world witnessed the horror of an attack on innocent people attending mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch, resulting in the murder of 51 people and wounding of many others.  

Nothing can bring back the lives of those lost or undo the suffering of victims and their loved ones, but what New Zealand showed in the wake of this event was a remarkable act of coming together and standing in solidarity with its Muslim community. A community that includes people who have suffered persecution and displacement before coming to New Zealand as refugees. 

Beginning this week, Muslims around the world are observing the holy month of Ramadan. May this month bring peace and justice to all who are suffering, to those in New Zealand living with the memories of this tragic day, to those trapped in conflict in Gaza or Sudan, to Rohingya refugees, to women in Afghanistan, and to the many others suffering war, abuse, persecution and exile. 

Overcoming displacement and finding solutions requires leadership, countries working together, and an all-of-community approach. The attacks on the mosques in Christchurch are remembered today for the healing power and compassion of New Zealand’s unified response. Our capacity as humans to stand together against hate, vilification and racism is as important today as it was in that moment.  


Media contact:

In Canberra, Charlotta Lomas, +61 424 545 569, [email protected]