Today on the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) remembers the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion, and to combat polarization and stereotypes in order to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.
UNESCO’s position is clear. Culture is a driver of development, led by the growth of the cultural sector and creative industries and the benefits arising from safeguarding tangible and intangible cultural heritage. It is also an enabler for sustainable development -- the context in which development policies can move forward, through local ownership, with efficiency and impact. In this context, intercultural dialogue is essential to make the most of diversity, to deepen the roots of development and share its benefits.
“Culture, in all its diversity, can foster a sense of identity and cohesion for societies at a time of uncertainty. It is also a powerful source of creativity and innovation. No development can be sustainable without it.” This is the message of the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, on the occasion of the 2013 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
UNESCO Amman Office considers the inclusion of culture in the development agenda as a main goal in Jordan. In the past years, the office carried out activities aimed to foster Jordan’s cultural diversity and support cultural industries, and recently it has been developing programmes to support rural women through the production of cultural goods. Two new projects in different parts of Jordan are expected to start in the coming months, which will promote cultural innovation, production and exchange as vectors of growth, and hence contribute to the role of culture in sustainable development.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 2002. It is celebrated each year on May 21st, and is a day to promote culture in its diversity and in all of its forms, based on the principle that “tolerance and respect for cultural diversity and universal promotion and protection of human rights, including the right to development, are mutually supportive”.