United Nations Celebrates International Day of Tolerance
On November 16, the International Day of Tolerance, the United Nations reaffirmed that tolerance is not indifference or grudging acceptance, but a way of life based on understanding and respect for others.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognizes that globalization continues to bring people closer together. “Global branding and the growth of international social and cultural movements expose us on a daily basis to the tastes, opinions and habits of our fellow men and women. In addition, we have more ways than ever to communicate with each other and to benefit from cross-cultural exchanges,” says Ban.
However, he warns that “globalization also carries the risk of creating a more uniform world, eroding the diversity that is one of humankind’s greatest strengths. And as we grow closer, there is also a danger that the human propensity to build walls will assert itself, separating people into ‘us’ and ‘them’ and, all too often, victimizing some of the most vulnerable sections of society: national, ethnic, religious and other minorities.”
The bottom line, according to Secretary-General Ban, is that, “tolerance does not mean indifference or a grudging acceptance of others. It is a way of life based on mutual understanding and respect for others, and on the belief that global diversity is to be embraced, not feared. On this International Day for Tolerance, let us to pledge to mobilize against intolerance. For our most vulnerable communities, and for all humanity, let us work together to promote tolerance.”