2019 UNESCO WORLD DAY FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY FOR DIALOGUE AND DEVELOPMENT
THEME: BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is annually held on May 21 to help people learn about the importance of cultural diversity and harmony. The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in Paris, France, on November 2, 2001. It was the 249th resolution adopted at the 57th session of the United Nations General Conference. Although the declaration was the culmination of years of work, it was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This reaffirmed the need for intercultural dialogue to prevent segregation and fundamentalism.
Our cultural diversity is the common heritage of humanity. It is a source of renewal of ideas and societies, through which we open up to others and craft new ways of thinking. This diversity provides opportunities for peace and sustainable development hence the need to ensure a proper understanding of our diverse cultures for sustainable development.
Nigeria as a nation is rich in diversified cultures. Our growth and development as a nation appears to have been hampered however, by the inability to fully understand our diversified cultures and annex the potentials inherent in them for national development and in pursuant of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In our present democratic and national life, the nation is polarized along cultural and ethnic differences and all along in the history of the nation we have had conflicts that boarder along cultural lines. The current insurgencies and spate of insecurity in the nations are also traceable to poor cultural understanding.
As we celebrate this year’s Day for Cultural Diversity For Dialogue And Development with the theme: BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE, the Youth Orientation for Development, a UNESCO NGO, deemed it necessary to put together this one day event to sensitize today’s youths on the value of cultural diversity issues especially as it helps in bringing about the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Bridging the gap between culture is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development. Cultural diversity is a driving force of development not only with respect to economic growth but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. Cultural diversity is an assets that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development.
This day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding on the values of our cultural heritage and diversity. More so, That the youths are encouraged to eschew religious intolerance by accommodating religious differences.
We know that the much expected growth and development especially through the SDGs we all hope to see in our world can never be realized except in an atmosphere of peace occasioned by mutual understanding of cultural differences and properly harnessing them to our advantage. While we recognize, respect and seek to uphold our cultural diversities, we must at the same time skillfully and masterfully blend these differences to have a beautiful entity. We have to take a cue from other culturally divergent nations of the world who have been able to so beautifully unite their differences to a very formidable strength.
Cultural diversity supports the idea that every person can make a unique and positive contribution to the larger society because of, rather than in spite of, their differences.
As we mark this day by taking an education tour of one of Nigerian’s Cultural Heritage; The National Art Theatre, after which we shall have presentations from participating schools at the Cinema Hall where best performing schools will be awarded, I wish you a memorable event.