AMMAN (Petra) – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has emphasised the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion to combat polarization and stereotypes and improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.
In a press release issued to mark the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, which falls tomorrow, the UN agency said culture is a driver of development, led by the growth of the cultural sector and creative industries, along with the benefits arising from the safeguarding of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
"Culture is also an enabler of sustainable development, in the context of which development policies can move forward, through local ownership, with efficiency and impact," the UNESCO statement said. Intercultural dialogue is essential to make the most of diversity, to deepen the roots of development and share its benefits, it added.
UNESCO’s Amman Office considers the inclusion of culture in the development agenda as a main goal in Jordan. The office carried out various activities over the past few years to foster Jordan’s cultural diversity and support cultural industries, and recently it has been developing programs to support rural women through the production of cultural goods.
Two new projects in different parts of Jordan are expected to begin in the coming months, which will promote cultural innovation, production and exchange as vectors of growth, and hence contribute to the role of culture in sustainable development, the UN organization said.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 2002. It is celebrated each year on May 21, and is a day to promote culture in all its diversity and forms, based on the principle that "tolerance and respect for cultural diversity and universal promotion and protection of human rights, including the right to development, are mutually supportive".