Members of Mongolia’s National Academic Ensemble of Folk Song and Dance perform at the 2011 UN Day Concert, under the theme “Celebrating Cultural Diversity.” UN Photo/Ryan Brown
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
In Brazil, different beliefs unite against religious intolerance
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.