World Day For Cultural Diversity For Dialogue And Development

Why does cultural diversity matter?
Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension.

Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.

Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. This is captured in the seven culture conventions, which provide a solid basis for the promotion of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is thus an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development.

At the same time, acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity – in particular through innovative use of media and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) – are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.

In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005:

  • Support sustainable systems of governance for culture
  • Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals
  • Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks
    Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms
  • Launched in January 2017, the report ‘Religious Intolerance in Brazil’ will be used to monitor and tackle discrimination. “Worldwide, there is a growing wave of intolerance and restrictions imposed on the exercise of the right to freedom of religion or belief,” said the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed.

One way to celebrate is through the campaign ‘Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion’, which encourages people and organizations from around the world to take concrete action to support diversity. It suggests 10 simple things you (or your school or class) can do to celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity:

  • Visit an art exhibition or a museum dedicated to other cultures
  • Learn about another religion
  • Run an international film show
  • Listen to a musical tradition from a different culture
  • Play a sport related to a different culture (Karate, Criquet, Pétanque…)
  • Cook traditional food from different cultures
  • Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures
  • Volunteer with an organization working for diversity and inclusion
  • Learn another language
  • Spread the word around you, family, friends and invite people from a different culture to share your customs.

With Agency Report

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