The impact of COVID-19 on the cultural and development sector is being felt around the world. Major crises throughout history have often given rise to a renaissance of culture and an explosion of new forms of creativity, so vital for human progress. In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. This day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together peacefully in a spirit of dialogue and openness.
Celebrating cultural diversity means opening up new perspectives for sustainable development and promoting creative industries and cultural entrepreneurship as sources of millions of jobs worldwide, particularly for young people. Culture is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, and moral life. Culture is a sustainable development accelerator whose potential has been recognised in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations.
The World Assembly of Youth (WAY) highlights the significance of culture diversity as an agent of inclusion and positive change. WAY integrates culture into all development principles, especially those related to youth issues of cultural diversity in a multicultural youth context. We are endowed with diverse cultural heritage, comprising different young people from different countries and cultures, each with our own exceptional characteristics. WAY also encourages young people and youth organisations to take concrete action to support diversity.
Realising the importance of this day, we foster inter-cultural and international understanding and cooperation, and promote tolerance, understanding, team spirit, and cooperation among young men and women irrespective of race, sex, language, religion, or political orientation. Our target is to enable young people to successfully address issues of cultural diversity and mutual respect among different age groups from all over the globe.
We urge everyone to raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity, and inclusion and combat polarization and stereotypes in order to improve understanding and cooperation among young people from different cultures, and promote global peaceful coexistence.