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World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

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.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a chance for people to celebrate cultural diversity and harmony.

©iStockphoto.com/skynesher

What Do People Do?

Various events are organized to increase the understanding of issues around cultural diversity and development among governments, non-governmental organizations and the public. Many of these include presentations on the progress of implementing the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

Events include:

  • Seminars for professionals.
  • Educational programs for children and young adolescents.
  • The launch of collaborations between official agencies and ethnic groups.
  • Exhibitions to help people understand the history of various cultural groups and the influence on their own identities.
  • Celebrations to create greater awareness of cultural values and the need to preserve them.

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development tends to be marked in countries that embraced their varied cultural history and acknowledged the importance of embracing it.

Public Life

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an observance and not a public holiday.

Background

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.

The year 2002 was the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage. At the end of that year, on December 20, 2002, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The General Assembly emphasized links between the protection of cultural diversity and the importance of dialogue between civilizations in the modern world. The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was first observed in 2003.

World Day for Cultural Diversity Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015ThuMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2016SatMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2017SunMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2018MonMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2019TueMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2020ThuMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2021FriMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2022SatMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2023SunMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2024TueMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance
2025WedMay 21World Day for Cultural DiversityUnited Nations observance

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