As Nov. 16 fast approaches, members of the United Nations have set preparations for the annual International Day for Tolerance. The celebrations were first held on Nov. 16, 1995 when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to foster public awareness about the dangers of intolerance. The day was convened as a way of appreciating diversity among the people of various countries in the world.
As the UN members look forward to the day, memories are still fresh from the 2016 International Day for Tolerance celebration. Holding a celebration in Marrakech, Morocco on Nov. 16, 2016, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Peter Thompson, said in a statement, “Today, on the International Day for Tolerance, we are reminded that every human life must be treated with equal respect and dignity, as underpinned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
The president reiterated the long term plans of the United Nations and its commitment to the enforcement of universal human rights. “Mutual understanding among the people and cultures that create the social fabric of our world is essential to ending violence and achieving harmony,” Thompson added.
It is during the ceremony that UNESCO awards the biennial UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence to honor efforts that go towards enhancing tolerance and reducing violence through communication, culture, science, arts and education.
UN President Thompson said in regard to the winner of the prize in 2016, “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Federal Research and Methodological Center for Tolerance Psychology and Education (Tolerance Center) of Russia on winning the 2016 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence.” Such a prize will be awarded in the next year’s celebrations.
With only a few days remaining to the next International Day for Tolerance, the event seems only to be recognized by advocates of human rights and the wider UNESCO fraternity. Advocates claim the day is not only important in contributing to cooperation among people, but also to promote unity among the various countries.
Excitement is on the rise as the 2017celebrations comes closer. Many people already have plans for the day. The excitement is building on social media, especially on Twitter, with various hashtags emerging to raise awareness of the event . Social media has grown to be a tool that resists and promotes intolerance.
Several activities have been planned, as observers intend to celebrate in various ways. In line with the avenues for promoting tolerance, social activities that bring people together, including sports as well as advocacy for tolerance on various social media platforms.