“Tolerance is an act of humanity, which we must nurture and enact each in own lives every day, to rejoice in the diversity that makes us strong and the values that bring us together.” — UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay

The United Nations is committed to strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. This imperative lies at the core of the United Nations Charter, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is more important than ever in this era of rising and violent extremism and widening conflicts that are characterized by a fundamental disregard for human life.

In 1996, the UN General Assembly (by resolution 51/95) invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November. This action followed up on the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 at the initiative of UNESCO, as outlined in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the Year.

2018 Student Event: United Nations observance of the International Day for Tolerance

The United Nations Department of Public Information hosted an educational event on the International Day of Tolerance, which featured the 2018 YouTube Creators for Change programme, on Friday,16 November. The event included a screening of international short films from inspirational creators, who use YouTube’s global reach to change conversations around tough issues and make a truly positive impact on the world. Selected students also presented projects linked to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence

In 1995, to mark the United Nations Year for Tolerance and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, UNESCO created a prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence. The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence rewards significant activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural or communication fields aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence.

The prize is awarded every two years on the International Day for Tolerance, 16 November. The Prize may be awarded to institutions, organizations or persons, who have contributed in a particularly meritorious and effective manner to tolerance and non-violence.

The 2018 winners are social entrepreneur and filmmaker Manon Barbeau (Canada) and the Coexist Initiative, a non-profit organization working to end violence against women (Kenya).