Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Message from UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura on the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

On May 21, 2007, in a message delivered on the occasion of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura stated that “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development affords the international community a welcome opportunity to reflect, in consonance with the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), on the integration of the principles of dialogue, understood as a corollary of diversity, into all development strategies. It thus encourages us to think anew about our use of words and concepts and the social and cultural dynamics at work in our societies. Indeed, cultural diversity relates to the differentiated functioning of constantly open societies and cultures that are founded on the interplay of interactions, transfers, inertia and resistance.”

According to Matsuura, “it is against this yardstick that the principles of cultural diversity and pluralism must be integrated in innovative ways into all national policies, in particular those relating to quality education, the environment, heritage management, the media, information technology, and creative industries. In adopting and reformulating the terms of such a debate, with all the decision makers and stakeholders concerned, intercultural dialogue and cultural development must be placed at the heart of national development plans and of the joint programming tools of the United Nations system.”

Matsuura also took the opportunity “to invite all development stakeholders to give substance and voice to creative diversity which, as the evidence shows, only flourishes from day to day within the framework of a free and pluralistic flow of knowledge, practices and imaginary ideas.” Click here for the full text of Mr. Matsuura’s message.