Cultural diversity should become a key lever in policy-making, says UNESCO World Report to be launched on 20 October

14-10-2009

As globalization spurs an unprecedented cross-fertilization of cultures worldwide, investing in cultural diversity can renew our approaches to sustainable development, ensure the effective exercise of universally recognized human rights and freedoms, and strengthen social cohesion and democratic governance, according to a new UNESCO intersectoral World Report to be launched on 20 October.



Entitled Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue, the report will be presented at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (Room II, 3.30-4.30 p.m.) by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, with the participation of two leading experts in the field of cultural diversity: Jean-Pierre Guingané (Burkina Faso), founder of the Theater of Fraternity and director of the Institut supérieur de l’image et du son, and Dr Will Kymlicka (Canada), a leading expert in multicultural citizenship.

This report analyzes all aspects of cultural diversity, which has emerged as a key concern of the international community in recent decades, and maps out new approaches to monitoring and shaping the changes that are taking place. It highlights, in particular, the interrelated challenges of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue and the way in which strong homogenizing forces are matched by persistent diversifying trends. The report proposes a series of ten policy-oriented recommendations, to the attention of States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, international and regional bodies, national institutions and the private sector on how to invest in cultural diversity.

Emphasizing the importance of cultural diversity in different areas (languages, education, communication and new media development, and creativity and the marketplace) based on data and examples collected from around the world, the report is also intended for the general public. It proposes a coherent vision of cultural diversity and clarifies how, far from being a threat, it can become beneficial to the action of the international community.

Although sometimes construed as being of secondary importance, cultural diversity needs to be placed at the heart of policies for the furtherance of international cooperation and cohesion, in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals. It aims to provide a concrete contribution to the agenda of sustainable development and peace based on ‘unity in diversity’.

Consult the UNESCO World Report - Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue:

Contact: Worldreport2