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Welcome to UNESCO's e-Platform on Intercultural Dialogue

We are pleased to welcome you to our global collaborative hub dedicated to Intercultural Dialogue!
“We need to recognize that cultures are interdependent and cultural diversity is a source of strength and transformation for humankind. Only together can we tackle our common challenges to build a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world.”
Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences
Gabriela Ramos Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences

Message from Gabriela RAMOS, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO

In our increasingly interconnected world, communication across and between cultures has become more important than ever. To find solutions to global challenges such as inequality, discrimination, gender-based violence and displacement, we must strengthen our capacities for understanding and collaboration. We need real-life inspiration and solidarity.

Our societies continue to face significant challenges. Inflation more than doubled between March 2021 and March 2022, making the cost of living higher and more uncertain (ILO, 2022). Almost 100 million more people now live on less than $1.90 a day because of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the global poverty rate from 7.8 to 9.1 percent (World Bank Group, 2021). Since the beginning of 2020, 1 in 2 women reported experiencing direct or indirect violence, including online, where cyber-bullying and harassment also increased(UN Women, 2021).

Against this complex international landscape, we must strengthen our capacities for understanding each other’s cultures. In this sense, Intercultural Dialogue (ICD) can help find solutions to these global challenges and build back better. Intercultural Dialogue is a transformative form of communication with the power to increase connections and trust across all layers of society. Based on mutual respect and a willingness to consider different perspectives, it is an effective tool to promote tolerance, acceptance of diversity, and a higher willingness to cooperate.

UNESCO is leading efforts across the UN system to reinforce Intercultural Dialogue as a mechanism to build futures that are more inclusive, sustainable, and peaceful. Our scope of action varies greatly across different programmes:

  • Providing policymakers with solutions and practical tools via our data-led policy framework on Intercultural Dialogue developed with the Institute for Economics and Peace;
  • Developing intercultural competencies and capacities for social inclusion via the UNESCO Story Circles project
  • Highlighting the vital role that art and artists can play in processes of memory and reconciliation via our Art-Labs for Dialogue and Human Rights;
  • And last, but not least, strengthening UNESCO’s actions against racism and all forms of discrimination based on UNESCO’s Global Call and the Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination, which convenes annually to build a momentum around these issues at international level. The next edition of the Global Forum will take place in Mexico City on 28-29 November 2022, focusing on the post-COVID recovery. 

UNESCO’s e-Platform on Intercultural Dialogue is designed to respond to the current “mutual understanding gap”, which occurs when communication between culturally diverse groups fails,  ultimately impeding good will and collaboration. This space serves as a global hub for knowledge sharing, networking, and learning about best practices delivering impact and accelerating change daily. The e-Platform brings together a wide diversity of stakeholders who engage with new ideas and share innovative approaches on how to integrate vulnerable and marginalized communities, promote gender equality, empower youth, enhance understanding between different religions or cultures, and even more.

I invite everybody, from policymakers, civil servants, academics to international bodies, corporations and non-profit organizations — all those who fight daily against all forms of discriminations and inequalities — to join this dynamic community.

Through Intercultural Dialogue, we pave the way for a more peaceful, inclusive, and resilient future. On behalf of UNESCO, I thank the Government of Azerbaijan for funding this important initiative and commend its continued commitment to tackling global challenges through transformative exchange.

Through Intercultural Dialogue we can work together across our differences to bring a positive change!              
 

Gabriela RAMOS, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO

UNESCO's e-Platform on Intercultural Dialogue

UNESCO's e-Platform on Intercultural Dialogue (ICD) is a destination for audiences that want to learn from shared knowledge and experiences, or simply connect with one another to collaborate and exchange ideas. The platform’s international reach supports strong, diverse networks and showcases global achievements with Intercultural Dialogue through the good practices.

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Share your practices

Good practices

Discover around the world initiatives on Intercultural Dialogue such as artistic expressions and many more.

Concepts Glossary

Capture the definition of Intercultural Dialogue and what it can achieve within a society.

Publications and Articles

Get inspired by people and organizations' publications on Intercultural Dialogue.

Opinion

Engage with different points of view and hear from new voices on Intercultural Dialogue issues.

FAQ

Your questions answered. We have put together some frequently asked questions to give you more information about what Intercultural Dialogue entails so that you can start to master the concept and join our community of practice. We also encourage you to read our Concepts Glossary page for a deeper understanding of Intercultural Dialogue's drivers and barriers.

Intercultural Dialogue offers an opportunity for engagement for participants who are committed to global values and are willing to consider different perspectives. Intercultural Dialogue can contribute to increased acceptance of others, satisfying the goal of a peaceful coexistence between cultures and identities. To learn more, check out the knowledge hub which provides explanations on core concepts and publications. 

  • Creates a sense of belonging and fosters trust within a community
  • Creates positive social relationships by guiding communities towards programs that benefit the well-being of all its members, while fighting exclusion, marginalisation, and inequalities
  • Key instrument to involve and engage all audiences, “leaving no one behind”
  • Helps find creative solutions to vital issues

To best understand the power of intercultural dialogue in our societies, browse through our Good Practices page to see how communities embrace differences in diverse settings.

Intercultural Dialogue can take many forms that are constantly evolving. They can be verbal or non-verbal, in-person or virtual, between two or more people, or between groups. They include intergroup dialogues, participation in cultural events or concerts, formal and informal education, structured mediation and debate, and interactive workshops. These types of events occur at all levels. At the community level, they can involve local civil society actors, community leaders and citizens, and at the national level they can involve the political and private sector, national civil society organizations and associations.

Intercultural dialogue, when supported by an enabling environment, has the capacity to achieve peace and develop sustainable societies as it can be implemented anywhere and remain effective. Through its capacity to support spaces and opportunities for dialogue it builds social cohesion and trust among diverse groups, upholds human rights, and contributes to conflict prevention and resolution. By going through UNESCO's e-Platform you will be able to witness these strengths and how diversity and Intercultural Dialogue can achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Latest publications

Measuring intercultural dialogue: a conceptual and technical framework
UNESCO
Institute for Economics and Peace
2020

The first step in the UNESCO-IEP joint initiative to strengthen the evidence base on dialogue for peace and development. This elevates a dialogue as a connecting enabler of all pillars of UN action, accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and making good on the promise of ‘leaving no one behind.’

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