At Mentor International, our work and activities depend on the values and principles of pluralism, tolerance and supportive society. Having a day dedicated to cultural diversity is a highly relevant to our purpose and the success of our mission. In the spirit of both Mentor and World Diversity Day, we hope you find time to reflect on ways to make or can make your surroundings even more tolerant and inclusive. You are welcome to volunteer with Mentor youth. Please get in touch if you are interested in supporting youth who struggle make a healthy transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Thank you, United Nations Habitat program, for effectively summarising the meaning and importance of the 21 May global awareness day, below.
Why does cultural diversity matter?
Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.
Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. This is captured in the culture conventions, which provide a solid basis for the promotion of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is thus an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development.
At the same time, acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity – in particular through innovative use of media and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) – are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.
Purpose of the Day
The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005:
- Support sustainable systems of governance for culture
- Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals
- Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks
- Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms
About Mentor International
Established in 1994 by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden in collaboration with members of the World Health Organization, Mentor International is the leading global federation of non-profit organizations working to develop youth development programs that support drug prevention. Mentor has spent over 25 years working persistently to help improve conditions for young people, inspire them to fulfil their potential and look to the future with hope. We have developed active partnerships with international agencies, governments, other NGOs, and the corporate sector to fulfil our vision. Nearly 100 Mentor initiatives have aided prevention activities in over 80 countries. The focus is to empower youth to make healthy decisions and live drug-free. Mentor Sweden is one of our member organizations offering local programs for young people, parents and volunteers.