of the conflicts in our lives and in the world are caused by misunderstandings.
Sometimes we jump to conclusions about why others do things. Sometimes we don't
understand the cultural differences of others. Poor communication makes the conflict
worse. Real dialogue can often lead to understanding, helping communities to get
along much better.
tragedy of September 11, 2001 clearly illustrated the reality that many conflicts
in the world are the result of "cultural differences" and the lack of intercultural
dialogue. Shortly after this tragic event, 185 nations unanimously adopted the
UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity to proclaim that our
cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural
diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity. It rejected
the claims that a clash of cultures and civilizations is unavoidable, and stressed
that intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of a more peaceful, just and
What is culture? A culture is a community's language, arts and literature.
It is also its values system, traditions, beliefs and way of living. Respecting
and protecting culture is a matter of Human Rights. Everyone should be able to
participate in the cultural life of their choice. The Convention on the
protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions was
adopted in October 2005 to outline legal rights and obligations regarding international
cooperation to help protect cultural diversity throughout the world.
21 was declared to be observed each year as World Day for Cultural Diversity
for Dialogue and Development. Thus, the day is both Diversity Day and
Dialogue Day because the way our communities learn how to live together in harmony
is to understand each other, and the way we understand each other is through dialogue.