World Cultural Diversity Day for Dialogue and Development


In the context of their remarkable efforts to foster an environment for peaceful and inclusive dialogue for all Iraqis and promote cultural diversity as an essential tool for development, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and UNESCO are convening a panel discussion and a series of cultural events to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development in Iraq.

Organized on 21 May at the UNAMI compound in Baghdad, the panel brings together Iraqi cultural personalities and representatives of UNAMI and UNESCO around the theme “Embracing Diversity and Promoting Cultural Dialogue in Iraq”.

Members of the panel will be invited to give presentations about specific initiatives in favor of cultural diversity, dialogue, and social cohesion they are engaged in. Among these personalities Rizgar Mohammed Amin- Former Chief judge of the Iraqi Special Tribunal; Sheikh Gaeth Tameemi- Director of Centre for Interfaith Dialogue; Ali Makhzoumy- Founder of Iraqi Culture Day; in addition to Dr. Mohamed Atiya al-Sarraj-Director General for Research &Development at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and two of his closest collaborators involved in the UNESCO’ interreligious dialogue project, namely Dr. Saada Al-Khafagi and Dr. Hana’a Hassan Mohammed from Kufa University in Najaf.

The panel also involves well-known editors and journalists and senior members of professional unions.Through the active discussions under this special theme, the panel allows Iraqi cultural leaders to highlight on-going efforts and initiatives to promote peacebuilding and solidarity through dialogue on cultural unity in diversity. Additionally, the panel will aim to reaffirm commitments to the principles of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Along with this panel, this day celebration also features a number of cultural events that will be attended by around 70 participants representing the Iraqi government, international organizations, the civil society, and the private sector. These events include a traditional musical and dance performance, an exhibition, and a short documentary on Interfaith Dialogue produced by UNAMI and Iraqi Culture Day.

Since 2002, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development has been an occasion to promote culture in all of its forms, and to highlight the significance of its diversity. This occasion represents an opportunity to highlight Culture in its manifold expressions, the tangible and intangible ones, along with the creative industries and cultural infrastructure, and how it directs the social, environmental and economic vectors of sustainable development.

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