"Celebrating cultural diversity means opening up new perspectives for sustainable development and promoting creative industries and cultural entrepreneurship as sources of millions of jobs worldwide – particularly for young people and especially for women. Culture is a sustainable development accelerator whose potential has been recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations."
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
Encouraging creative entrepreneurship in South Africa through recycled arts with support from UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). Photo: © UNESCO/IFCD
In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005:
- Support sustainable systems of governance for culture
- Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals
- Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks
- Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms
Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion
In 2011, a grassroots campaign ‘Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion’, celebrating the annual World Day for Cultural Diversity was launched by UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
By encouraging people and organizations from around the world to take concrete action to support diversity, the campaign aims:
- To raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion.
- To build a world community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and every day-life gestures.
- To combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.
The campaign works through a dedicated Facebook page, serving as a platform for people around the world to share their experiences through posts and videos.