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World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2024 – May 21

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World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development - May 21 2024The United Nations (UN)’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is annually observed across the globe on 21st May to celebrate the richness of the world’s culture and underscore the importance of its diversity.

  • The day also highlights the essential role of intercultural dialogue in achieving peace and sustainable development.

The annual celebration of the day is led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).


i.In December 2002, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/57/249 proclaiming the 21 May of every year as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

ii.The UNGA resolution follows the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity adopted by UNESCO in 2001.

  • The declaration recognises the need to “enhance the potential of culture to achieve prosperity, sustainable development, and global peaceful coexistence.”

iii.The 1st ever World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was observed on 21st May 2003.

Culture and Sustainable Development:

i.In 2015, the 2nd committee of the UNGA adopted the resolution (A/C.2/70/L.59) on Culture and Sustainable Development, recognising culture’s vital role in sustainable development.

ii.This day supports the goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005:

  • Supporting sustainable systems of governance for culture;
  • Achieving a balanced flow of cultural goods and services;
  • Increasing the mobility of artists and cultural professionals;
  • Integrating culture into sustainable development frameworks; and
  • Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

MONDIACULT 2022: A Landmark Declaration for Culture

i.In September 2022, delegations from 150 States gathered in Mexico for the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development – MONDIACULT 2022, the largest global conference on culture in 40 years.

ii.They unanimously adopted the Declaration for Culture, affirming culture as a “global public good”. The declaration calls for culture to be recognized as a specific goal in the development agenda beyond 2030.

The Importance of Intercultural Dialogue:

Conflict Reduction: 89% of global conflicts occur in countries with low intercultural dialogue.  Strengthening this is crucial for effective cooperation and lasting peace.

Key Facts:

According to UNESCO data, the economic impact of the cultural and creative Sector are:

i.Job Creation: The sector provides over 48 million jobs globally, with almost half held by women.

iiYouth Employment: It offers significant opportunities for young people under 30.

iii.Economic Contribution: It represents 6.2% of all employment and 3.1% of global Gross domestic product (GDP).