World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN: International Day for Tolerance

UN marks International Day for Tolerance with call for cultures to learn about each other

The growing scourge of intolerance demands a global response based on mutual understanding and respect, United Nations officials said today in commemoration of the International Day of Tolerance.

"In a world of intense economic competition, shifting populations and shrinking distances, the pressures of living together with people of different cultures and different beliefs from one's own are very real," United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in his message commemorating the Day.

The resultant backlash is evident in the rise of xenophobia and extremism across the globe and demands our strongest response, Mr. Annan stated, asserting that the need for tolerance is greater today than at any time in the UN's past.

He stressed the importance of individual initiative in building a culture of tolerance in addition to increased legal protection and education, and noted that tolerance cannot simply mean "passive acceptance of other peoples' perceived peculiarities."

Instead it must involve "an active effort by all of us to learn more about each other, to understand the wellsprings of each other's differences, to discover what is best in each other's beliefs and traditions. Only through such a process of discovery can we come to realize that what binds us as human beings is far stronger than what divides us men," he said.

In a message to mark the day, the Director-General of the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO), Koïchiro Matsuura, said that the protection and promotion of cultural diversity and education in the universal values of human rights, human dignity and respect for and acceptance of others have become the priority concerns, especially in societies that have experienced major crises, or armed conflict.

"To further the values of tolerance, UNESCO is implementing a global integrated strategy to combat racism, discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," he noted.

An example of the real problems generated by intolerance are the increasing challenges faced by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as it works to protect refugees, returnees and other displaced persons.

"The rise of intolerance in today's world and the inability of different people to live together threaten peace, the safety of refugees and the social cohesion of societies," High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said at a press conference in New York earlier this month.

The International Day for Tolerance is observed on 16 November as an occasion both for tolerance education and for reflection and debate on intolerance. It was set up in 1996 at the initiative of UNESCO.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC