Cultural diversity is crucial for development
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 2002 and celebrated on 21 May, provides an opportunity for mobilization on the part of all actors (governments, policy makers, civil society organizations, communities, cultural professionals) to promote culture in its diversity and in all its forms: tangible and intangible heritage, creative industries, goods and services.
Recognizing and supporting cultural diversity can help to address both the economic and human rights dimensions of poverty and provide creative, cross-cutting solutions to complex issues - from health and the environment to advancing gender equality and education for all.
Irina Bokova, Director General
Message on Cultural Diversity Day 2013
On this Day, UNESCO emphasizes the need to fight against imbalances that exist between global exchanges of cultural goods, and stresses the importance of preserving the world’s most vulnerable cultures, together with the need for cultural policies and structural measures in developing countries. It also highlights the importance of being aware of the value of cultural diversity in languages is also stressed.
Special attention is given to national cultural policies that recognize the contribution of traditional knowledge, particularly when it comes to environmental protection and natural resource management, which promote synergies between modern science and local knowledge.
Under the terms of the UN Resolution, the proclamation of the Day is based on the principle that “tolerance and respect for cultural diversity and universal promotion and protection of human rights, including the right to development, are mutually supportive”.
Furthermore, the proclamation is based on the connection between culture and development, thus “the need to enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence”. Adopting this new International Day is the culmination of a series of actions and commitments undertaken by the international community in the field of culture, such as:
- the Report of the World Commission on Culture and Development,
- the Declaration of the Stockholm Conference Action Plan on Cultural Policies for Development (1998),
- the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001),
- the adoption of the Plan of Implementation and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development ( 2002),
- the Proclamation of the year 2002 as the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage.
HANGZHOU INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS
ATLAS OF THE WORLD’S LANGUAGES IN DANGER
Bolster the efforts of speaker communities to maintain or revitalize their mother tongues
INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY
LOCAL AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS
THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY LENS
CULTURE FOR DEVELOPMENT INDICATOR SUITE
CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND THE WORLD SUMMIT FOR INFORMATION SOCIETY
Voices of intellectual and political leaders of our times who have given evidence of the strength of cultural diversity: Irina Bokova, Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Tvetan Todorov, Lourdes Arizpe, Aimé Césaire, Tanella Boni, Arjun Appadurai, Amartya Sen, Daryush Shayegan, Homi K. Bhabha, Wole Soyinka, Wangari Maathai and Aung San Suu-kyi. Download in pdf
- UNESCO Official Proclamation of 21 May as World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (pdf)
- Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (pdf)
- Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
- Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace (pdf)
In partnership with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, UNESCO invites everyone to join the “Do ONE Thing for Diversity and Inclusion” campaign.
UNESCO INSTITUTE FOR STATISTICS
Measuring diversity in cinema statistics
To mark the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development of UNESCO, UIS has released a new fact sheet on the diversity of feature films based on the most recent data from 52 countries.
OUR PARTNERS' ACTIVITIES
- International Festival for Cultural Diversity, Mairie du 1er arrondissement de Paris, 14 May - 26 May 2013 (in French)
- "Policies for Creativity: A Guide for the development of cultural and creativeindustries", Launch of the French version in partnership with the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF)
Join the celebration
Parents, showcase the traditional stories from your culture and use them as bed-time stories to enchant your children!
Learn a new language with a native speaker of your community and practice it with him/her regularly!
During your trip to a new country, go off the beaten track, mingle with the locals and discover things about their culture that the tour-guide is ignorant of!
Propose your cities to organize festivals dedicated to their cultural minorities and featuring their gastronomy, dances, music, literature, costumes.
Invite music schools to give concerts with multicultural music that combine tradition with foreign influence.
Invite artists who lived in a different country of their own to give interviews, explaining the positive influence their “hosting” culture has had on their work and artistic evolution.
Teachers, encourage your students to become pen-pals with students from different geographic and religious backgrounds or through social media to discuss their experiences, differences and things they have in common.
Dedicate a class on how cultures have influenced one another : a Chinese proverb can also be found in the Arabic tradition; backgammon is also played in Iran and Greece and tattoos are used in South America and Africa.