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Cultural Diversity

In its rich diversity, culture has intrinsic value for development as well as social cohesion and peace.

© S. Rothe
Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only in respect of economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. This is captured in the seven 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 ICTs – are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.

The promotion of cultural diversity – the "common humanity heritage" according to the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, 2001 – and its corollary dialogue, has become one of the most pressing contemporary issues and, for this reason, is central to the Organization’s mandate.

Cultural Diversity, Unesco


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Documents UNESCO Courier 2009 - N° 5: Diversity, a synonym for culture

A voyage from China to Iran, using calligraphy as a compass; an exploration of Parisian melancholy, guided by a Japanese photographer; a return to the origins of Kung Fu, now an international art; a trip around the world along strands of Thai silk; a Turkish escapade with background music from Brittany… This month the UNESCO Courier dedicates its pages to cultural diversity.

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Documents UNESCO and the issue of Cultural Diversity: Review and Strategy, 1946-2007

Cultural pluralism is an enduring and central feature of UNESCO's concerns. Nevertheless, the way in which cultural differences have been conceived in theory (ideas) and handled in practice has varied substantially over the Organization's history.

© 2008 - UNESCO