Today, 21 May, we mark the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity as a driving force for sustainable development.

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a special day for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), which was created in 2005 with the motto “Many Cultures, One Humanity” to build bridges of dialogue between cultures and faiths. Indeed, sustainable peace can only be achieved if we learn to live together, accept one another and respect each other by embracing our diverse cultures. Too often, global conflicts have a cultural dimension, and bridging the gap between cultures and peoples through intercultural dialogue is needed more than ever in our multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual world.

UNAOC has worked diligently to reduce cross-cultural tensions and create space for dialogue between communities globally. Despite our efforts, culturally-based conflicts, radicalization, and xenophobia have continued to drive a wedge between cultures, claiming that cultural diversity is a source of division instead of the foundation for rich, inclusive, and resilient societies.

The truth is, today, more than ever, cultural diversity is the reality that informs human life. The world is filled with people who have different beliefs, religions, traditions, and ways of living. It is within our differences that we can find strength and resilience.

UNAOC remains committed to fostering the values of compassion, inclusion, and respect for the other. Every single effort from each of us constitutes one step further towards embracing diversity.

Contact: Ms. Nihal Saad, UNAOC Chief of Cabinet and Spokesperson for the High Representative,