Monday, 18 January 2021

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UN: Peace begins with tolerance

16 November 2014. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism with dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. In his message on the International Day of Tolerance, 16 November, the Secretary-General points out that there are more people displaced by fighting today than at any period since the end of the Second World War.  “We live in an era of violent extremism and radicalism seem to be rising and widening conflicts that are characterized by a fundamental disregard for human life.”

The United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Tolerance every year on this day,16 November, since 1996, when the UN General Assembly invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November, with activities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public.

unescoThis action followed on the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995 at the initiative of UNESCO. On the day of its fiftieth anniversary, 16 November 1995, UNESCO's Member States adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. Among other things, the Declaration affirms that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.

Bokova“We learn through tolerance to reconcile the universal rights that bind us together with the diversity that gives us so much, and to see that we need others, in all their diversity, so that we can be fully ourselves,” says Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO in her message on the International Day.

“UNESCO is committed to promoting tolerance through its educational and cultural programmes, through the International Coalition of Cities against Racism and through the mobilization of young people and global citizenship education.”

“We are all part of the solution,” Mr. Ban concluded in his message. “We should not feel powerless for we actually possess an enormous capacity to wield power. Nonviolent action is a way of using that power - the power of people. “

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