Cultural diversity is crucial for development

21 May 2012

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 2002 and celebrated on 21 May, provides an opportunity for mobilization on the part of all actors (governments, policy makers, civil society organizations, communities, cultural professionals) to promote culture in its diversity and in all its forms: tangible and intangible heritage, creative industries, goods and services.

On this Day, UNESCO emphasizes the need to fight against imbalances that exist between global exchanges of cultural goods, and stresses the importance of preserving the worlds most vulnerable cultures, together with the need for cultural policies and structural measures in developing countries. It also highlights the importance of being aware of the value of cultural diversity in languages is also stressed.

Special attention is given to national cultural policies that recognize the contribution of traditional knowledge, particularly when it comes to environmental protection and natural resource management, which promote synergies between modern science and local knowledge.

Under the terms of the UN Resolution, the proclamation of the Day is based on the principle that tolerance and respect for cultural diversity and universal promotion and protection of human rights, including the right to development, are mutually supportive.

Furthermore, the proclamation is based on the connection between culture and development, thus the need to enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence. Adopting this new International Day is the culmination of a series of actions and commitments undertaken by the international community in the field of culture.

"Experience shows that efficient development models are those that actually integrate local cultural specificities, thus eliciting the involvement of the communities concerned." Irina Bokova, Director General
culture for sustainable

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