On this International Day of Tolerance, I call on all people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism with dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. Let us advance against the forces of division and unite for our shared future.
- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Tolerance is not passive or silent acceptance of differences; it is inseparable from respect for fundamental human rights. It is constant commitment to facilitating exchanges and dialogue, despite difficulties and a lack of understanding which can lead to inward-looking attitudes. It is a call to question prejudice and commonly-held beliefs.
Started by UNESCO in 1996, International Day of Tolerance is celebrated on 16th November annually to promote the act of tolerance. On this day, we focus on educating people about the need for tolerance in society and helping them understand the negative effects of intolerance. The International Day for Tolerance is a day when people are given an opportunity to learn about respecting and recognising the rights as well as beliefs of others. Live discussions and debates take place across the world on this day, focusing on how various forms of injustice, oppression, racism and unfair discrimination have a negative impact on society.
International Day of Tolerance is celebrated for its four basic principles which are promoted worldwide amongst public. These principles are commitment of heads of state and government to advance welfare; freedom and progress everywhere; principle of encouraging tolerance, respect and dialogue; as well as proper coordination between different cultures, civilisations and people to stop inequality.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), aim to educate people, especially young people, about tolerance and raise awareness of the importance of fighting intolerance. According to UNESCO, fighting intolerance requires law, education and access to information, individual awareness as well as local solutions. Thus, we urge for cooperation and partnership from all stakeholders in every level of society to join the effort in embracing tolerance as not only a courtesy to each other but also a way of life in achieving sustainable and peaceful tomorrow.
Happy International Day for Tolerance!