16 November 2012 – The International Day for Tolerance is celebrated today around the world to promote tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.

16 November 2012 – The International Day for Tolerance is celebrated today around the world to promote tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.

The day is celebrated since 1996, when the UN General Assembly (by resolution 51/95) invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November, with ativities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public. 

Ever since, the day has been marked in different countries, with the aim to educate people for tolerance in order to counter influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others, and to cherish the diversity of our world`s many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities that are not a pretext for conflict, but a treasure that enriches us all.

“Building tolerance and understanding is fundamental for the twenty-first century. In an increasingly globalized world – in which societies are growing more diverse – tolerance is central to living together.

Yet tolerance is being tested. In the face of economic and social pressures, some seek to exploit fears and highlight differences to stoke hatred of minorities, immigrants and the disadvantaged. To counter the rise of ignorance, extremism and hate-based political appeals, the moderate majority must speak up for shared values and against all forms of discrimination.

Our goal must be more than peaceful coexistence. True tolerance requires the free flow of ideas, quality education for all, respect for human rights, and the sharing of cultures for mutual understanding. As we advance these values, let us draw strength and guidance from the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. 

Tolerance is both a condition of peace and an engine for creativity and innovation. In our evermore interconnected world, promoting tolerance is the way to build the harmony we need to address pressing challenges and secure a better future”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in his official message for the day.

More information from: http://www.un.org/en/events/toleranceday/index.shtml