International Day for Tolerance 2023
International Day for Tolerance, observed annually on November 16th, serves as a global platform to champion tolerance, respect, and understanding among people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. This day, instituted by UNESCO, reaffirms the principles of human rights and equality while promoting open-mindedness, empathy, and compassion. In 2023, the theme is “Tolerance: A Path to Peace and Reconciliation,” emphasizing the pivotal role of tolerance in building peaceful and inclusive societies.
International Day for Tolerance stands as a reminder of the importance of cultivating tolerance in daily life, promoting it as a cornerstone of peaceful and harmonious societies. As the world grapples with issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice, this day encourages embracing tolerance to foster understanding, build bridges between cultures, and create a more just and equitable world for all.
History of International Day for Tolerance:
The roots of International Day for Tolerance trace back to 1995 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 51/95, designating November 16th as the day to promote tolerance globally. This decision followed the adoption of a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance by UNESCO’s Member States on the same day.
Declaration of Principles on Tolerance:
The Declaration of Principles on Tolerance outlines the foundational elements of a tolerant society, emphasizing that tolerance extends beyond passive acceptance to active commitment in understanding, respecting, and appreciating diversity. It underscores the importance of promoting tolerance through education, dialogue, and legal protections.
Establishment of International Day for Tolerance:
Aligned with the principles of the Declaration, the UN General Assembly recognized the need for a dedicated day to raise awareness about the significance of tolerance. November 16th was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of UNESCO’s adoption of the Declaration, solidifying the establishment of International Day for Tolerance.
The primary objectives of International Day for Tolerance include:
- Promoting awareness of tolerance for peaceful and inclusive societies.
- Encouraging open-mindedness, empathy, and compassion across diverse cultures.
- Educating the public about the dangers of intolerance, discrimination, and prejudice.
- Reaffirming the principles of human rights and equality for all.
Catalyst for Change:
Since its inception, International Day for Tolerance has catalyzed initiatives worldwide, inspiring educational programs, community dialogues, and advocacy campaigns for human rights and equality. The day fosters international collaboration to address global challenges related to intolerance and discrimination.
UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize:
In 1995, UNESCO established the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize to commemorate the United Nations Year for Tolerance and Mahatma Gandhi’s 125th birth anniversary. This prestigious award recognizes initiatives promoting tolerance and non-violence in scientific, artistic, cultural, or communication domains.
Madanjeet Singh, born on April 16, 1924, played a significant role in promoting communal harmony and peace. As the founder of the South Asia Foundation (SAF) in 2000, he aimed to advance sustainable cultural, educational, and economic development. Recognizing his efforts, Madanjeet Singh was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on November 16, 2000.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- UNESCO Headquarters: Paris, France;
- UNESCO Founded: 16 November 1945, London, United Kingdom;
- UNESCO Head: Audrey Azoulay; (Director-General).