A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Thursday, 29 May 2014

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development - 21 May

The  World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.

On 5 May 2014, the UN General Assembly held a day-long debate on “Culture and sustainable development in the post 2015 development agenda.” Speakers underscored through country level testimonies and global data how culture, in its manifold expressions ranging from cultural heritage to creative industries, from sustainable tourism to cultural infrastructure, drives and enables the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainable developments.

President of the United Nations General Assembly message  for the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2014.

Statement attributable to the President of the General Assembly
United Nations, New York, 21 May 2014
On this World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, I encourage all of us to recognize the importance of cultural diversity, both as a reflection of the richness of humankind, and as essential to the flourishing of countries and communities across the world.
As we approach 2015, the international community is seeking to identify ways to promote inclusive socio-economic development across the world. Development needs to be truly sustainable and should be adapted to local contexts; it should rely on the cultural resources of countries and peoples, while respecting cultural rights.

As highlighted by the United Nations General Assembly, culture enables and drives development and should be mainstreamed in all development programmes. It ought to be recognized as such in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Culture also drives development within a number of sectors including tourism and heritage. Moreover, a respect for cultural diversity is necessary to address both the economic and human rights dimensions of poverty and to promote quality education, sustainable cities and urbanization, sustainable environmental practices, and inclusive societies.

The Special Thematic Debate on Culture and Sustainable Development, which I convened on May 5, as mandated by the General Assembly in its third resolution on this subject, gathered more than 250 participants, all of whom concurred that there can be no sustainable development without cultural diversity. I encourage ongoing efforts by Member States and other stakeholders in this regard and hope these issues will be underscored in the current and forthcoming process of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Cultural Diversity and Creativity

Cultural Diversity and International Solidarity

Identity, Diversity and Pluralism

Message from Ms.Irina Bokova the Director-General of UNESCO for the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2014. .

Our cultural diversity is the common heritage of humanity. It is a source of renewal of ideas and societies, through which we open up to others and craft new ways of thinking. This diversity provides opportunities for peace and sustainable development.
In the final push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, UNESCO is continuing to strengthen its advocacy and action in favour of the link between culture and sustainable development. The resolution adopted in December 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly, recognizing the role of culture as a driver and enabler of sustainable development, is an invitation to further mobilize the potential of cultural diversity. This diversity is a valuable resource for attaining development goals, including fighting poverty and promoting gender equality, quality education and human rights, and we must fully integrate it into the global strategies for sustainable development.

The United Nations Creative Economy Report 2013, co-published by UNESCO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), confirms that the creative economy is one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the world. Figures show that world trade in creative goods and services totalled a record $624 billion in 2011 and that it more than doubled from 2002 to 2011. From audio-visual design to production, performing arts to new media, publishing to the visual arts, our cultural diversity is a creative diversity. It is a source of employment and income, conveying identities and collective benchmarks, contributing to social cohesion and self-esteem in our globalized world.

The greatest strength of cultural goods and services lies in their dual, economic and cultural nature. This specificity offers a response to the growing demands for more integrated policies, capable of addressing the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. Culture is not a commodity like any other, and this principle, which is internationally recognized by the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted in 2005, is a guiding principle for forging more innovative and sustainable development strategies.

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. Our cultural diversity is a stimulator of creativity. Investing in this creativity can transform societies. 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.
Today, I call on Member States of UNESCO to carry this message to the highest level, to include culture and cultural diversity in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. We must make culture a priority now.

                                                                                                                                           Irina Bokova

The film illustrates through motion graphics and photographs how the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) invests in creativity to transform societies. Established under the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the IFCD is the international cultural cooperation platform that supports over 60 projects on entrepreneurship and business development, new technologies and innovation, empowering individuals and social groups. The film encourages viewers to make contribution to the IFCD in order to invest in creativity in developing countries and transform societies towards achieving sustainable development.


Decision makers, cultural entrepreneurs and practitioners in the global South use IFCD investments to develop policies, markets and training opportunities that strengthen their culturally unique cultural industries. Thanks to our governmental and private donors, we have raised US$ 6.4 million, which has helped support 61 projects across 40 countries so far.

The IFCD is multi-donor Fund established under Article 18 of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

UNESCO - International Fund for the Promotion-of Cutural Diversity (IFCD)

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