United Nations (UN)’s International Day for Tolerance is annually observed across the globe on November 16 to raise public awareness of the risks of intolerance, and to respond with fresh commitment and action in support of tolerance promotion and education.
What is tolerance?
Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and our ways of being human.
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/51/95 on 12th December 1996 and proclaimed November 16 of every year as International Day for Tolerance.
ii. The 1st International Day for Tolerance was observed on 16th November 1997.
UN Year of Tolerance – 1995: In 1993, the UNGA adopted the resolution A/RES/48/126 and proclaimed the year 1995 as the United Nations Year of Tolerance.
Why November 16?
International Day for Tolerance was established to mark the adoption of The Declaration of Principles on Tolerance by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its 28th session in Paris, France, on 16th November 1995.
Efforts of UNESCO to promote Tolerance:
UNESCO’s efforts to promote, Culture of Peace and Non-violence, Democracy and Global Citizenship, Fostering Rights, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination, Education transforms lives, and Freedom of Expression and the Rule of Law play a major role in promoting tolerance.
The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence
i. The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Nonviolence recognises major activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural, and communication domains that aims to promote a spirit of tolerance and nonviolence.
ii. The Prize was named after Madanjeet Singh in appreciation of his lifelong dedication to the cause of communal harmony and peace and was established in 1995 on the occasion of the United Nations Year of Tolerance and the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi by the UNESCO Executive Board.
iii. “UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence” awarded every 2 years on the International Day for Tolerance. The winner is presented with the sum of USD 100,000.
About Madanjeet Singh:
- He was an Internationally known author of several books on art and other subjects.
- He served as Ambassador of India in Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe.
Winner of the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize 2022:
The 2022 edition of the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence has been conferred to Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong from Cameroon.
- Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong, a journalist for 7 years, has strived for changing the way mental illness is viewed and represented in society.
- She was trained in art therapy and psychology, and she became the founder and President of 2 NGOs: the Afrogiveness Movement (#Afrogiveness) and Positive Youths Africa (PYA).
About the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director-General- Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters- Paris, France
Establishment- 1945 (came into force in 1946)
Members- 193 members and 11 Associate members.