Goals and purpose of the World Report on Cultural Diversity

The World Report aims to address the manifold aspects of cultural diversity, critically review common notions and assumptions, and propose policy-oriented recommendations on topics as diverse as identities and dialogue, the future of languages and intercultural education, media pluralism and cultural industries, the business world, local knowledge, biodiversity, sustainable development, governance and human rights.

A renewed discussion of cultural diversity – the promotion and protection of which are supported by an array of normative instruments – is timely in these times of crisis. The impacts of globalization (and increasing urbanization and migration) are challenging our very understanding of cultures and identities. In this sense, cultural diversity is a much more complex phenomenon than it initially appears, as are the relationships between globalization and cultural diversity. As these are facts with which we must contend, it is of utmost importance today to create the conditions upon which cultural diversity can become the means for ensuring dialogue and peaceful co-existence, and sustainable and fruitful development.

While the promotion of cultural diversity has taken on increasing visibility on the international scene, it often continues to be perceived as a threat to the cohesion of increasingly diversified societies. Hence, the necessity of elucidating the conditions upon which cultural diversity can constitute a positive contribution to realizing the objectives of development and peace.

In line with its Constitution (which encourages the ‘fruitful diversity of cultures’ towards the common goals of prosperity and peace) and the most recent normative advances – the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, and the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions – UNESCO aims, with this report, to open debate on a particularly timely theme and provide leads for renewed initiatives.

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