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

Monday, 16 November 2015

International Day for Tolerance 2015, November 16th.

The call “to practice tolerance” was written into the identity of the United Nations 70 years ago. Today, in a world buffeted by turbulence and change, the Charter’s summons remains a vital touchstone for our work.
People are more connected–- but this does not mean there is more understanding. Societies are ever more diverse – but intolerance is growing in many places. Sectarian tensions can be found at the heart of many conflicts, with the rise of violent extremism, massive human rights violations, and cultural cleansing. And the biggest crisis of forced displacement since the Second World War has spawned hatred and xenophobia against refugees and others.
Tolerance is much more than passively accepting the “other”.  It brings obligations to act, and must be taught, nurtured and defended. Tolerance requires investment by States in people, and in the fulfilment of their full potential through education, inclusion and opportunities. This means building societies founded on respect for human rights, where fear, distrust and marginalization are supplanted by pluralism, participation and respect for differences.
This is the message of the International Day for Tolerance – reflected in the UNESCO Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, adopted in 1995. This same idea animates the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), which is being led forward by UNESCO across the world.
On the International Day for Tolerance, let us recognize the mounting threat posed by those who strive to divide, and let us pledge to forge a path defined by dialogue, social cohesion and mutual understanding.
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations

Tolerance is a new idea, one which we need now more than ever.It leads us to respect cultural diversity, ways of life and expressions of our own humanity. It is a necessary condition for peace and progress for all people in a diversified and ever-more connected world.
UNESCO was created exactly 70 years ago, on 16 November 1945, the International Day of Tolerance, on the basis that wars could be avoided if people learned to get to know each other better and understood that, in the fertile diversity of their cultures, that which unites them is stronger than that which divides them. These principles were reaffirmed 20 years ago in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, adopted by UNESCO in 1995. In a globalized world, home to people from many cultures and backgrounds and flooded with pictures of and information about other peoples, tolerance is the cornerstone of sustainable citizenship.
Tolerance is not passive or silent acceptance of differences; it is inseparable from respect for fundamental human rights. It is constant commitment to facilitating exchanges and dialogue, despite difficulties and a lack of understanding which can lead to inward-looking attitudes. It is a call to question prejudice and commonly-held beliefs.
When violent extremism spreads messages of hate and intolerance, both on the ground and on social media; when human beings suffer persecution, exclusion or discrimination on the basis of their religion or background; when economic crises accentuate social divides and stand in the way of acceptance of others, such as minorities, foreigners or refugees; we must offer up a different discourse, an open message which calls for tolerance. We must make the lessons of the past more visible and remind people of the extreme situations which can result from rejection of others, racism and anti-Semitism.
Diversity is a reality, calling us to adapt our policies and act appropriately, for which tolerance is key. Today’s world presents us with considerable opportunities to better understand each other, share our stories, create a public space on a global scale, enrich our outlook on life and combine our perspectives. It is an invitation for us to strengthen moral and intellectual solidarity between peoples through educational cooperation, dialogue among cultures, knowledge-sharing and free distribution of information. Tolerance is a means of constructing peace; it accelerates innovation and creation, opening our minds to other ways to view the world. This founding mission of UNESCO is not decreed through laws and declarations: it relies on the will and daily efforts of the citizens of the world who are developing this culture of tolerance, and today is the time to support them.

Irina Bokova, UNESCO

Tolerance Day

Events : UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence.

In 1995, to mark the United Nations Year for Tolerance and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, UNESCO created a prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.
The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence rewards significant activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural or communication fields aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence.
Established through the generous donation of the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Indian artist, writer and diplomat Madanjeet Singh, the prize honors his lifelong commitment to the cause of peace and tolerance.
Madanjeet Singh passed away on 6 January 2013. The award of the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence for the year 2013 will be postponed.
The prize is awarded every two years on the International Day for Tolerance, 16 November. The Prize may be awarded to institutions, organizations or persons, who have contributed in a particularly meritorious and effective manner to tolerance and non-violence.

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