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Toronro, May 21 (Canadian-Media): World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (WDCDDD) is being observed today, media reports said.
The WDCDDD is held every year on May 21 to teach people about importance of cultural diversity and harmony, United Nations reports said.
It was in 2001 that the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in Paris, France.
In December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the WDCDDD and the it was first observed in 2003.
The four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005 were: Supporting sustainable systems of governance for culture, achieving a balanced flow of cultural goods and services, increasing mobility of artists and cultural professionals, integrating culture in sustainable development frameworks, and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The day imparts us with an opportunity to understand the values of cultural diversity and to advance the above four goals.
On this day, various events are organized around cultural diversity and development among governments, non-governmental organizations and the public.
Many of these events include: Seminars for professionals, Educational programs for children and young adolescents, collaborations between official agencies and ethnic groups, exhibitions to help people understand the history of various cultural groups and the influence on their own identities, and celebrations to increase awareness of cultural values and the need to preserve them.
The WDCDDD is observed in countries that incorporated their varied cultural history and acknowledged its importance.
Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the WDCDDD 21 May 2017 stated:
“Just as natural diversity is vital to sustain ecosystems, cultural diversity is the lifeblood of vibrant societies. Cultural diversity provides fresh ideas and perspectives that enrich our lives in countless ways, allowing us all to grow and thrive together…Today is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the tremendous benefits of cultural diversity, including humanity’s rich intangible heritage, and to reaffirm our commitment to building a more peaceful world, founded on the values of mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue…Even as we celebrate cultural diversity today, we must remember that cultural diversity is increasingly under threat. Across the world, violent extremists have targeted cultural minorities and destroyed our shared heritage, to weaken the essential links between people and their history…Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” In this spirit, I believe that we need a new humanism for the 21st century, to renew the fundamental aspirations to justice, mutual understanding and dignity that guide all women and men…As we work together to make the 2030 Agenda a reality – and to counter the threats to our cultural diversity – let us be guided by the spirit of this day, knowing that by embracing our cultural diversity, we can weave a brighter “garment of destiny” for us all.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of Irina Bokova: Courtesy of UNESCO World Heritage Centre