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Uphold values of Enlightenment against rise of intolerance: UN Chief

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Uphold values of Enlightenment against rise of intolerance: UN Chief
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Brussels: The UN chief Antonio Guterres highlighted the importance of upholding the values of enlightenment against the rise of populism, racism and other intolerant ideas.

During his meeting with European leaders on Wednesday, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked the European Union (EU) to fight for values of "enlightenment" against populism, racism and other intolerant ideas.

"As a European, I'm particularly proud with the contribution that I consider the most important contribution of Europe to global civilization -- and that is in my opinion, the Enlightenment, the values of the Enlightenment. The primacy of reason, tolerance," Guterres said at a press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Xinhua reported.

The Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, was a European intellectual movement that spread during the 17th and 18th centuries.

"This is particularly important when we see the risks of moving into a kind of post-Enlightenment era and where we see the multiplication of different forms of irrationality -- nationalism, populism, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred," said Guterres, former prime minister of Portugal.

Guterres also added that the EU will be at the forefront of the good battle for the values of the Enlightenment, which were the very important contribution of Europe to global civilization.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is having his first overseas trip since being re-appointed to a second term, in Brussels, where he will meet with European leaders, as well as Belgian authorities from 23 to 25 June. They will discuss topics such as peace and security, support for refugees, the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the fight against climate change, according to von der Leyen.

On Thursday, Guterres is scheduled to deliver an address to the European Parliament in which he will reiterate the importance of the partnership between the UN and the European Union to address the challenges we collectively face.

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