Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

"Tous différents, tous uniques": Les Jeunes et la Déclaration universelle de l’UNESCO sur la diversité culturelle

UNESCO, Division des politiques culturelles et du dialogue interculturel, 37 p., 2004

In the forward to this “youth version” of the UNESCO Universal Declaration, Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura emphasizes that the document is intended “not only to introduce cultural diversity and UNESCO to young people but also to cultivate links among them wherever they may live. Through international and intercultural friendship, young people should benefit from cultural diversity and, through their actions today, help to preserve it for generations to come. Thus, while youth are the key to the future, it is essential that they shape the present too.” People aged 18 to 24 make up 18% of the world’s population. The OXFAM International Youth Parliament and UNESCO share the view that young people are key stakeholders when it comes to questions of human rights, development, and cultural diversity. Accordingly, they are “a very important group in promoting the principles of cultural diversity that are enshrined in the UNESCO Declaration. It is essential that they be given opportunities to demonstrate leadership so that these values become part of the daily lives of all people and communities around the world.”

That is why UNESCO and the OXFAM International Youth Parliament worked in partnership on a project to broadly consult with young people around the theme of cultural diversity and the values that the Universal Declaration promotes. They worked together in ten countries to facilitate youth-run workshops that engaged young people in discussion around the twelve articles of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. This document presents the results of the consultations. After introducing each article of the Declaration, the authors list concrete examples of the youth-led initiatives that young people consider necessary to put the positive values of the Declaration in the hearts and souls of youth and their communities around the world.

The International Youth Parliament—an initiative of Oxfam International, managed by Oxfam Community Aid Abroad—is a global network of young leaders in over 150 countries with a united vision of “youth building an equitable, sustainable, and peaceful world.” This network was launched in 2000 when 250 young social change leaders from over 100 countries met for the first reunion of the International Youth Parliament. [68] (Available in French and English)