At the halfway point of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), this meeting will inform Permanent Delegates to UNESCO on the advancement of the Decade, its milestones and major outcomes.
In line with its Action plan approved by the 194th session of the Executive Board, the event will be an opportunity to reorient our commitment to intercultural dialogue, which has a lot of yet unexplored potential for preventing extremist violence, resolving conflict and sustaining peace.
It is clear that there is a need to develop stronger data to more effectively mobilize dialogue (as highlighted in Decision 202 EX/12) both as a standard and as an instrument. We need to understand more, and more concretely, what are the exact drivers of effective dialogue, the dimensions of the enabling environment for dialogue, and the types of intervention needed to bolster the effectiveness of dialogue. The challenge of this meeting will be to identify the priority focus of the five-years to come of the Decade and to consider together the way forward.
The Decade embodies a global vision and commitment to unification in diversity. Achieving a true rapprochement of cultures must be generated and nourished by a culture of peace and non-violence and sustained through human rights and universal values, such as openness, respect, tolerance, a willingness to engage in dialogue, and the ability to solve conflicts through peaceful means and recognize other’s point of view. Achieving peace through dialogue and ensuring solid pre-requisites for dialogue constitute a necessary foundation for the stability of our societies which, in turn, enables them to thrive.