“Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.” UNESCO's 1995 Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. Tolerance means to accept and respect other people with different lifestyles, ideologies, habits and customs. The concept of tolerance today often refers to the acceptance of an equal status for any human being on our planet. It bases on values like human rights and fundamental freedom for the individual.
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.
There is no doubt that a world free of tolerance would not be a good place to be. It is the belief of those supporting this day that such a world should never exist and that everyone has a right to their expression and their conscience without fear of bias or ridicule. In addition, it teaches that a person’s socio- economic status is inconsequential to the potential for tolerance and friendship between them.
The International Day for Tolerance is celebrated every year on the 16th of November .It is a time for people to learn about respecting and recognising the rights and beliefs of others and also a time of reflection and debate on the negative effects of intolerance. 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.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), aspire 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. 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.
In support, we strongly urge the youth and youth leaders to protect people from discrimination and to encourage tolerance for all regardless of nationality, religion, language, race or any other distinct characteristics that obscures our common humanity.
On this International Day of Tolerance, let us recommit to dialogue and establish a mutual understanding among all people and communities especially youth, and let us focus our minds and hearts on those who face discrimination and marginalization.