UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity

Adopted by the 31st Session of UNESCO's General Conference, Paris, 2 November 2001.

Article 5

Cultural rights are an integral part of human rights, which are universal, indivisible and interdependent. The flourishing of creative diversity requires the full implementation of cultural rights as defined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in Articles 13 and 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and cultural Rights. All persons should therefore be able to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue; all persons should be entitled to quality education and training that fully respect their cultural identity; and all persons should be able to participate in the cultural life of their choice and conduct their own cultural practices, subject to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Article 6

While ensuring the free flow of ideas by word and image care should be exercised that all cultures can express themselves and make themselves known. Freedom of expression, media pluralism, multilingualism, equal access to art and to scientific and technological knowledge, including in digital form, and the possibility for all cultures to have access to the means of expression and dissemination are the guarantees of cultural diversity.


The Member States commit themselves to taking appropriate steps to disseminate widely the "UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity", in particular by cooperating with a view to achieving the following objectives:


5. Safeguarding the linguistic heritage of humanity and giving support to expression, creation and dissemination in the greatest possible number of languages.

6. Encouraging linguistic diversity - while respecting the mother tongue - at all levels of education, wherever possible, and fostering the learning of several languages from the youngest age.


10. Promoting linguistic diversity in cyberspace and encouraging universal access through the global network to all information in the public domain.

Note: The full text of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity is available at http://www.unesco.org/culture/pluralism/diversity/html_eng/index_en.shtml

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