Wednesday 18 January
|16th of November – International Day for Tolerance|
On the 16th of November 1995 the member states of the UNESCO adopted the Declaration of the Principles of Tolerance. In 1996 the General Assembly of the United Nations invited the member states to celebrate the International Day for Tolerance every year on the 16th of November and backing it by appropriate activities which are directed both to educational institutions and the general public.
In recent years a harsh increase of the number of incidents manifesting intolerance, extremism and violence could be observed throughout the world. This alarming trend is partly fueled by the growing tendency to identify differences in terms of identity and not in terms of opinion or interests.
As a result, individuals and whole communities become the targets of violence and cruelty just because of their ethnic, religious, national or other identity. Such threats, whether large-scale genocide or daily humiliation because of prejudice, should alarm everyone.
Every one of us has to strive to support the principles of tolerance, pluralism, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. We have to be ready to eliminate stereotypes and misconceptions and to advocate for the protection of victims of discrimination.
On this International Day for Tolerance it is necessary to find evidence of the idea that diversity, embodied in the thoughts, beliefs and actions is a precious gift and not a threat. It is necessary to strive for the building of a more tolerant society in the life of which this fundamental ideal is implanted.