The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is observed annually on 21 May, and on this day we celebrate the richness of the world’s cultures and also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development. 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. 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.
In addition, 2022 marks the end of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures, which seeks to promote mutual understanding and reciprocal knowledge of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity. 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.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), highlight 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. 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. 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.
WAY also encourages young people and youth organisations to take concrete action to support diversity. 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.