20.05.2014 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

A message from Lebanon to the world on Cultural Diversity Day 2014

Under the High Patronage of His Excellency The President of the Republic of Lebanon General Michel SLEIMAN, and in the occasion of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, and under the framework of HAWER Project, UNESCO Beirut Office in collaboration with the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO celebrated a national day on: Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development: A message from Lebanon to the world!

Under the patronage of the Lebanese President Michele Sleiman and in cooperation with the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO Beirut launched a series of activities targeting youth and professionals in Lebanon and the region. The event took place on May 20 , 2014 and was attended by more than 250 participants including Ministers from the Lebanese Government, Parliament Members, Ambassadors, UN representatives and national stakeholders. The ceremony began with the national anthem , proceeded with the speech of the Director UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut Hamed Al Hammami , who stressed that the celebration of the World Day for Cultural Diversity is especially important in light of the tensions that prevailed in the region in light of the widespread of violence and sectarian conflicts and sectarianism and the spread of hate speech and incitement.  Al Hammami confirmed the importance of empowering and investing in young people , through education , the competencies of interaction between cultures , to commemorate the diversity of our world and to learn to work together , in an environment of diversity of languages, cultures and religions , In order to bring about a positive change .

The President of the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO Henry Al Awit emphasized that Lebanon is a constituency based on dialogue and reconciliation, therefore the celebration of cultural diversity for dialogue is only natural for a country like Lebanon.  

The Advisor for the UNESCO programme on Peace and Dialogue, Selim El Sayegh emphasized that the UNESCO Programme on Intercultural Dialogue in the Arab Region comes in response to an urgent need in the region. El Sayegh launched the HAWER website (hawer.org) which he considered to be a vital tool for the advancement of dialogue in the region. He invited every researcher and scholar to visit the website and be part of an open forum for dialogue.

Maysoun Chehab from the UNESCO Office in Beirut  launched the Youth Competition on " Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development: A Message from Lebanon to the World” which targets middle school and university students. She pointed that this contest is aimed to address the involvement of young people in Lebanon as actors for positive change inside their country and beyond , and urged them to play a major role in the development of society through the acceptance of others. Since respect for cultural diversity has become a global responsibility the competition calls the students of Lebanon to provide Lebanon as a model for diversity, freedom, and living together .

Representing His Excellency The President of the Republic of Lebanon General Michel SLEIMAN, Minister Ramzi Jreije conveyed  the wishes of the President for Peace and Dialogue and stressed on the importance mission of UNESCO in the dissemination of a culture of peace among nations and within nations. He said: " Dialogue that do not lead to convergence remains an empty slogan with no impact.” On behalf of President Sleiman, Minister Jreije, called “the youth of Lebanon to keep high hopes for the future of their country and to never lose faith in their homeland, and not to leave a place of despair in their hearts.”  




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