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A Tribute to the International Day for Tolerance: Why It's Important and What You Can Do

A Tribute to the International Day for Tolerance: Why It's Important and What You Can Do
A Tribute to the International Day for Tolerance: Why It's Important and What You Can Do


The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance day declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. It is observed on 16 November. The United Nations is committed to strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. This imperative lies at the core of the United Nations Charter, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is more important than ever in this era of rising and violent extremism and widening conflicts that are characterized by a fundamental disregard for human life.

In 1996, the UN General Assembly (by resolution 51/95) invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November. This action followed up on the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 at the initiative of UNESCO, as outlined in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the Year. The prize is awarded


What is the International Day for Tolerance?


At the behest of the United Nations, the International Day for Tolerance is observed every year on 16 November to combat intolerance through education. The objective of the International Day for Tolerance is to raise awareness of the dangers of intolerance, highlight the responsibilities of all citizens to strengthen respect for human rights, to foster mutual understanding among cultures and peoples, and to reject all forms of extremism and violence. The celebration of the International Day for Tolerance draws attention to the resilience of cultures and promotes an understanding of the need for cultural diversity.


Why 16 November was selected as the date for the International Day for Tolerance


"The International Day for Tolerance has developed from the recognition that tolerance and understanding can be manifested in various ways. The diversity of our societies is one of the greatest blessings, allowing us to recognize and appreciate the value of differences. Understanding and acceptance are the foundations of building peace, prosperity, safety, security, health and well-being," said Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd UN General Assembly in his welcoming remarks at the launch of the 2018 International Day for Tolerance in New York.



"Yet, with this great diversity, a continuous search for and preservation of unity is essential to preserve harmony in our world. It is high time for tolerance to be fostered within communities and nations, and within the UN system itself.


How to observe this day


You can observe this International Day for Tolerance by:

 Visiting the United Nations and the United Nations Information Centre to learn about how the UN promotes tolerance and celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You can also ask any of the NGO staff members or UN staff to help you get involved in activities happening at the UN.

 Sending a photo of yourself doing something that promotes tolerance to the International Day for Tolerance Twitter page and/or by email to the International Day for Tolerance and/or its Special Representative.

What can you do to promote tolerance in your community, school, or workplace?
Create a better understanding of the value of tolerance in society and help make this message more accessible to your peers, colleagues, and the general public. To do this, you may want to consider the following actions:

Use your job to encourage tolerance and respect in the workplace.

Encourage students in your community to pursue tolerance and other values of peace and inclusiveness.

Represent your school or community at an interfaith or intercultural event.

Encourage the development of the skills, knowledge, and values needed to address tolerance issues in your local or national community.

Stay updated with news about upcoming events and activities related to the International Day for Tolerance and share them on your social networks.

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