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World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Held every year on the 21st of May, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development spotlights the abundance, diversity, and richness of the world’s cultures and the vital role which intercultural dialogue plays in a more harmonious world. Humanity is more than our differences and respectful discourse continues to be an essential part of promoting global accord, unity, and more sustainable development opportunities. Particularly now.


The United Nations General Assembly first declared this day in 2002, in tandem with the adoption of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. In the ensuing years, the urgency of intercultural dialogue in the pursuit of peace, has become increasingly apparent. International cooperation is more important than ever, with UNESCO reporting that 89% of current global conflicts occur in countries with low intercultural dialogue. In 2022, the Declaration for Culture was unanimously adopted declaring that culture is a “global public good”, and we could not agree more.

 

Cultural diversity is a powerful and intrinsic part of what makes the human experience so beautiful – but it has also been at the core of so many global conflicts and tragic outcomes. Prejudice is often born from destructive and unrestrained misunderstandings which fuel fear, and consequently, hate. For this reason, there exists a pressing need to prioritize dialogue. By fostering an understanding of one another, we begin to build meaningful relationships which will form the foundation of a society which celebrates multiplicity of thought.

 

Cultural differences should not only be celebrated on the global scale; nationally, there is much to be done to foster dialogue and development between cultures. Canada has a dynamic history of languages, spiritual practices, traditions, and cultures – which began with First Nations and was influenced by all the newcomers after. In a time where we are witnessing a steep increase in divisive discourse and intolerant behaviour, geared specifically toward belief systems and expressions of culture which diverge from the Western paradigm – it’s imperative that we use our voices to encourage acceptance.

 

At ParriagGroup, an investment in a more equitable and respectful world is central to our mission. Naturally, we are passionate advocates for bridging gaps in understanding and encouraging dialogue – much of our work as researchers and evaluators correlates directly with building opportunities for open dialogue between diverse communities and pursuing more equitable outcomes for all. We know firsthand that there is no change without communication and that listening with an open heart and mind is the only way.

 

In the information age – technology can play an indispensable role in promoting connection and creating opportunities for education and understanding. We would encourage you to consult the plentiful resources around you to better understand your neighbour, and to make space for growth and change. In this way, we can reject division and embrace unity. Wholeheartedly.

 

We will continue to champion diversity, accessibility, equity, inclusion, and respect in both our work and our everyday lives. We know that harmony is possible, and we embrace the opportunity to be a part of it. We wish you all a wonderful and enlightening World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

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