World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2016

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Non-Aligned Movement Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity celebrated the World Day of Cultural Diversity on 18 May in cooperation with the UNESCO; the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO); the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO; and the embassies of Bangladesh, Mexico and Turkmenistan.

The celebration took place in Niavaran Palace in Tehran and consisted of a series of cultural performances from Turkmenistan and different provinces of Iran, as well as a cultural exhibition and a traditional food festival with dishes from Bangladesh, Turkmenistan and Rasht in Iran.

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The open-air celebration was attended by many embassies, government officials, artists, NGOs and UN agencies, and was also open to the general public. Hundreds of tourists stopped by to visit the exhibition space and watch the cultural performances.

Mr. Jakov Kitarović, husband of the President of Croatia, H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, also paid a surprise visit and attended part of the ceremony.

During the opening ceremony, Ms. Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, said: “In the year 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, declared May 21 to be the “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”. This day provides us with an important opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of culturaldiversity and to learn to live together better. At UNESCO we believe that exchange and dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based on mutual understanding and respect and the equal dignity of all cultures, is the essential prerequisite for constructing social cohesion, reconciliation among peoples, and peace among nations.”

Dr. Talebian, Deputy Head of ICHHTO talked about the cultural diversity within Iran and the 60 official languages that exist in the country. He said: “If we study this carefully, we will find that most of these languages have common roots, which shows our unity in diversity.”

 hassani speech

Mr. Hassani, Director of the Non-Aligned Movement Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity talked about the origins of the Center and referred to the NAM Ministerial Meeting on “Human Rights and Cultural Diversity”, which was held from 3 to 4 September 2007 in Tehran. In the final document of the meeting, entitled “the Tehran Declaration and Plan of Action”, the Member States decided to establish the Center in Tehran.  Taking into consideration the virtues of historical traditions and the values of all civilizations and cultures around the world, the Center provides scientific analysis and promotes discourse in global human rights and cultural diversity issues.  The main function of the Center is to prepare a platform for the exchange of knowledge, good practices, general reflections, and to have intensive debate in order to contribute to the advancement of human rights and cultural diversity.

“All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and the international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis, and that, while the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms”, said Dr. Hasani.

The cultural exhibition, which took place alongside the ceremony, consisted of photos from Iran’s 19 World Heritage Sites, handicrafts from different parts of the countries, as well as cultural exhibitions from Bangladesh, Mexico and Turkmenistan.

Text of Address

by Mr. Hassani, Director of NAMCHRCD

Excellencies,

Ambassadors and Diplomatic corps,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset I am very pleased to welcome you all to this august session.

I want to present my sincere appreciation to Miss laroche director and representative of UNESCO Tehran cluster office and   her colleagues   for burdening most of the management and coordination for commemorating world day for cultural diversity for dialogue and development in Tehran.

Actually, this is the first joint cooperation between Non-Aligned Movement Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity and UNESCO cluster office in Tehran and I am pretty sure that we could expand our cooperation through joint collaboration.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The NAM Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity (NAMCHRCD) is an outcome of the NAM Ministerial Meeting on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, held on September 2007, in Tehran. In the final document of the meeting, entitled “the Tehran Declaration and Plan of Action”, the Member States decided to establish the Center in Tehran.

Taking into consideration the virtues of historical traditions and the values of all civilizations and cultures around the world, the Center provides scientific analysis and promotes discourse in global human rights and cultural diversity issues.

The main function of the Center is to prepare a platform for the exchange of knowledge, good practices, general reflections, and to have intensive debate in order to contribute to the advancement of human rights and cultural diversity.

 

 Ladies and gentleman,

Culture serves as the basic element in the social fabric, to promote, enhance and regulate social awareness and responsibility, and help produce socially and culturally responsive citizens.

In the meantime, Diversity constitutes the main source of strength and richness of values of human civilizations. The Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Cooperation, adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1966, states in article I: “Each culture has a dignity and value which must be respected and preserved; “Every people have the right and the duty to develop its culture; all cultures form part of the common heritage belonging to all mankind.”

Now a complex of these two subjects, Culture and Diversity, I mean “Cultural diversity” is a cherished asset for the advancement and welfare of humanity at large and should be valued, enjoyed, genuinely accepted and embraced as a permanent feature which enriches our societies.

Today in this cultural ceremony we are enjoying few of the Iranians cultural manifestation. Actually when we focus and concentrate what they have in their enriched culture you will face with their noble literature, code of ethics, common values, historical and religious backgrounds which are distinguishably diverse.

Cultural diversity represents one of the core values of humanity, as an asset which is valuable for social cohesion and peace, through increasing respect and mutual understanding.

One of the most tangible approaches of Cultural Diversity is in humanity. In the UN standard setting mechanisms and related international documents, one of the core documents in this regard is the United Nations General Assembly resolution with the title of human rights and cultural diversity. In preamble paragraphs of the resolution it is explicitly reads as follow;

All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and that the international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis, and that, while the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The adverse impacts of lack of respect for and recognition of cultural diversity on human rights, justice, friendship and the fundamental right to development are real concerns of human societies.

All of us have been raised within a particular culture, and have inherited different subjective and objective elements from the very culture that come to the surface in our perceptions and attitudes. Such a diversity of identity rooted in culture and social, political, religious and historical background of each society.

Mutually respectful dialogue and cooperation among and between cultures and civilizations including in the field of human rights, would facilitate the promotion of a culture of tolerance and respect for diversity and contribute greatly to the enhancement of international cooperation in this field.

While dialogue and cooperation are essential for enriching the universality of human rights the cultural imposition and the efforts to eliminate cultural identities cause a major setback to the promotion of human rights, international solidarity, enhancement of peace and support of sustained development.

The NAM center for human rights and cultural diversity based on its conceptual foundation, considers that the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds are vital elements in contribution for the building of international order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and promotion of, and respect for cultural diversity and universal human rights.

Finally, I hope we will take more effective steps forward for a better understanding of harmony and peace among humanity.