The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is observed to promote diversity and to showcase the important role of intercultural dialogue. The day is celebrated on May 21 every year to showcase the richness of the world's cultures and for achieving peace and sustainable development. The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2019 will be celebrated at the UN Headquarters with various events where people of indigenous origin will participate. The UAE will celebrate Diversity Day along with the country's declaration of 2019 as the Year for Tolerance and its hosting of many related events. International Jazz Day 2019: Date, History and Significance of the Day That Celebrates Jazz Music.
Also known as Diversity Day, it is observed as an opportunity to help communities understand the importance of various cultures and the traditions from around the world. The day also tries to showcase how people coming from different ethnicities can live together in harmony despite their cultural differences.
To maintain peace among people and mutual understanding, equitable exchange and dialogue among civilisations and cultures are important. This action is part of the global framework of an Alliance of Civilizations launched by the United Nations.
History of Diversity Day
Diversity Day came into being as a result of the destruction of the Buddha statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001. In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly first declared the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development after the adoption of UNESCO's 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, recognizing the need to "enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence". The day aims to reach the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005 which are as below:
- Support sustainable systems of governance for culture
- Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals
- Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks
- Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms
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On the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO said, "Diversity takes many forms, but the language is perhaps one of the first we encounter as social beings. Language is what defines our internal world just as much as it defines the way we communicate in the outside world. It is what connects us to our roots, our culture and history, but also to our communities and our families."