The United Nations has been urged to recognise the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur to “correct the inequality” of only marking religious days from the Christian and Muslim calendars.
The New York-based assembly currently recognises ten holidays, four of which are religious, these being the Christian holidays of Christmas and Good Friday and the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
“There are three monotheistic religions, yet only two are recognised by the UN calendar,” said Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador to the UN. “Such discrimination at the UN must end.”
The envoy added that “on the one hand the UN advances values of cooperation and engagement among nations, while on the other hand it prioritises one religion over the other.”
In 1998, the UN voted to adopt ten holidays, on which buildings were closed and no meetings were held.
Another vote would be needed to incorporate Yom Kippur on to the list, said UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, adding that a decision “is a matter for the member states”.