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World Day for Cultural Diversity
for Dialogue and Development
21 May

"Our cultural diversity is a stimulator of creativity. Investing in this creativity can transform societies. It is our responsibility to develop education and intercultural skills in young people to sustain the diversity of our world and to learn to live together in the diversity of our languages, cultures and religions, to bring about change."

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO


Cultural practices of the Senufo communities of Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. Photo: UNESCO

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 learn to live together better.

On 5 May 2014, the UN General Assembly held a day-long debate on “Culture and sustainable development in the post 2015 development agenda.” Speakers underscored through country level testimonies and global data how culture, in its manifold expressions ranging from cultural heritage to creative industries, from sustainable tourism to cultural infrastructure, drives and enables the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development.

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:

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.

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