The International Day for Tolerance is celebrated annually on 16th of November and 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. 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.
On this Day is important to reaffirm that tolerance is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world's cultures, lifestyles, ideologies, habits, customs, and other forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognises the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse and only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe. Hence, "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.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), aspire to educate young people and youth leaders about tolerance and we also raise awareness of the importance of fighting intolerance. We remain committed to strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. This imperative lies at the core of the WAY 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 characterised by a fundamental disregard for human life.
According to UNESCO, fighting intolerance requires law, education and access to information, individual awareness as well as local solutions. Hence, we believe that education for tolerance would help young people to develop capacities for independent judgement, critical thinking, and ethical reasoning on the diversity of our world. Therefore, 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.
On this International Day for 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 marginalisation. We urge young people and youth leaders to protect their peers from discrimination and encourage tolerance for all regardless of nationality, religion, language, race, or any other distinct characteristics that obscures our common humanity.