UNESCO pays tribute to Javier Pérez de Cuéllar as a fervent promoter of cultural diveristy

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, a major contributor to UNESCO’s work. With his political charisma and intellectual courage, he gained recognition for the essential role of culture and cultural diversity as pillars of peace and sustainable development,” declared UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

“While we must face the climate crisis, preserve biodiversity and mobilize all players to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, the legacy of Javiez Pérez de Cuéllar maintains its full pertinence,” the Director-General added.

Following the World Conference on Cultural Policies, known as Mondiacult, that took place in Mexico City in 1982, UNESCO created the World Commission on Culture and Development, which Javier Pérez de Cuéllar Presided. The Commission’s report, Our Creative Diversity, inspired generations of researchers and development leaders and continues to do so to this day.

At the time, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar declared, “If several decades of development and some goals set by the international community have not been met, it is, among other reasons, because in many projects we under-estimated the importance of human factors, a complex network of beliefs, values and motives that underpin each culture […] Will culture or another form of development be capable of protecting us from the contagion of anti-cultures of xenophobia and ethnic cleansing.”

In November 2019, at the close of the Forum of Culture Ministers, held during UNESCO’s General Conference the holding of a second Mondiacult conference in Mexico in 2022 was announced.

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