|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
In Ever More Mixed Societies, Landmark UNESCO Declaration Sets out Principles
for Embracing ‘Fruitful Diversity of Cultures’, Secretary-General Says
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message from the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, 2 November:
Ten years ago, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2011, UNESCO Member States adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. In an ever more interconnected world, and in our ever more mixed societies, ignorance of each other’s ways can be a cause of mistrust, tension and conflict. This landmark declaration sets out the principles for embracing the “fruitful diversity of cultures” and tackling the related challenges.
Cultural diversity is our common heritage. Its protection is an ethical imperative, inseparable from respect for human dignity, but making the most of cultural diversity calls for new policies of inclusion and participation.
Over the past decade, thanks in large part to the action and advocacy of UNESCO, the United Nations family has increasingly recognized cultural diversity as an invaluable ally in the service of sustainable development and our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We are keenly aware that there can be no “one size fits all” development model, and that to deliver better results, projects must reflect the needs, aspirations, priorities and cultures of their beneficiaries.
On this tenth anniversary of the adoption of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, let us reaffirm our conviction that cultural diversity is a strength, not a weakness. We must never tire in making this case. Let us all commit to strengthening our cultural literacy.
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