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Our cultures and identities may be different, but our journey is shared

 unesco worldday cultdiv Flickr CC BY SA 2.0

21 May 2015 – Today, we celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. This year, UNESCO is urging us to #Unite4Heritage, as our cultural diversity is a stimulator of creativity and can transform societies.

In 2001, UNESCO adopted today’s observance as a means to provide us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.

However, presently, “cultural diversity is under attack by violent extremists who lay waste to the heritage and persecute minorities,” says UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in a message for today.

She continues, “These crimes confirm still further our conviction that the enemies of human dignity will always seek to destroy cultural diversity, because it is the symbol of free thought and the infinite creativity of the human being. It is this link that we must defend.”

To this end, and looking ahead to the UN’s post-2015 development agenda, UNESCO is emphasizing that we all stand united for diversity.

Cultural diversity is a powerful resource: we must #Unite4Heritage

Ms Bokova states “We have entered a new age of limits – in terms of resources, in terms of the planet – and our response must be to unleash our most powerful renewable resource, human intelligence and creativity.”

“It is our responsibility to develop education and intercultural skills in young people to sustain the diversity of our world and to learn to live together in the diversity of our languages, cultures and religions, to bring about change,” Ms Bokova asserts.

Today is a chance for us to remember the need to celebrate this diversity and the shared value of our heritage. Echoing the words of the UNESCO DG, so as to defend our heritage, we must #Unite4Heritage.

Recognizing diversity amongst 7 Billion Others

To highlight this, UNRIC has partnered with the Good Planet Foundation, and produced a video, marking today’s observance.

A visionary idea from the photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, '7 billion Others' is an ongoing project that started in 2003, consisting of over 6,000 interviews filmed in 84 countries to create a portrait of humanity today and show everything that unites us, links us and differentiates us.

UNRIC and the '7 Billion Others' team have partnered to make the video portraits available in as many languages as possible.

Watch the video to below to discover how citizens from all over the world perceive diversity.

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