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2010: UN International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures

The International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures was held in 2010 to promote cultural diversity and the importance of exchanges and ties between cultures.

Three young Zulu women friends, dressed in traditional beaded Zulu garments.
2010, Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures
The International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures looks at issues such as culture, civilizations, religion and globalization.
©iStockphoto.com/ManoAfrica

The United Nations’ (UN) International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures was observed with the International Year of Biodiversity and the International Year of Youth.

What do people do?

The International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures was a year of events that focused on:

  • Interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
  • Understanding and cooperation for peace during the year.
  • High-level dialogue and/or informal interactive hearings with civil society.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) plays the lead role in celebrating this event within the United Nations system. Many countries around the world are participating in the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures. These countries include (but are not exclusive to):

  • Armenia.
  • Brazil.
  • Burundi.
  • Chile.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Egypt.
  • France.
  • Germany.
  • Greece.
  • Italy.
  • Kazakhstan.
  • Mexico.
  • Oman.
  • Poland.
  • Russian Federation.
  • Tunisia.

Activities and events that are anticipated for the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures include:

  • Conferences that focus on topics such as interculturality, globalization, religions and civilizations.
  • Exhibits, seminars and workshops on topics such as heritage, peoples and cultures.
  • Museum expos and arts and crafts displays with the themes of peace, tolerance and culture.
  • Cultural, art and music festivals that promote culture and peace.

Individuals, community organizations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies from all over the world are uniting in 2010 to host or take part in the events that promote all the themes associated with the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures.

Background

The General Assembly, on 17 December 2007, declared 2010 the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (resolution 62/90). Affirming that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of the dialogue among civilizations and the culture of peace, the assembly encouraged member states to consider initiatives that identify areas for practical action at all levels of society to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue, tolerance, understanding and cooperation. It also encouraged the promotion of dialogue among the media from all cultures and civilizations.

Symbols

UNESCO’s logo, which features a temple including the UNESCO acronym (for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) within itself and the words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization” underneath the temple, is used for online or print promotional material associated with the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures. The use of the complete name in English, in association with one or several other languages provides an explanation of the acronym of the organization. UNESCO’s six official languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

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