May 21: The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Dear colleagues and friends,

In December 2002, the UN General Assembly declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

In 2015, the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development, affirming culture’s contribution to the three dimensions of sustainable development, acknowledging further the natural and cultural diversity of the world, and recognizing that cultures and civilizations can contribute to, and are crucial enablers of, sustainable development.

In particular, we note:

  • Recognizing that culture is an essential component of human development, that it represents a source of identity, innovation and creativity for the individual and the community and that it is an important factor in social inclusion and poverty eradication, providing for sustainable economic growth and ownership of development processes,
  • Recognizing also the importance of respect and understanding for cultural diversity throughout the world and of working together and not against each other, and of fostering intercultural understanding and dialogue, mutual listening and learning and an ethic of global citizenship and solidarity,
  • Recognizing the importance of multilingualism as a means of promoting, protecting and preserving the diversity of languages and cultures globally and that genuine multilingualism promotes unity in diversity and international understanding, and recognizing also the importance for the peoples of the world to communicate in their own language.

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. This is captured in the culture conventions, which provide a solid basis for the promotion of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is thus an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development.

At the same time, acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity – in particular through innovative use of media and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) – are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.

Diversity is our strength! It is a reminder to learn about the rich cultural diversity of Canada, enjoy it and build inter-cultural bridges through respectful dialogue.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or comments.

Stay safe, stay well!



Waheed Khan

President, National Consultation Team