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International Day for Tolerance
On Wednesday 16th November, the United Nations will celebrate International Day of Tolerance. This day is held to help people understand the importance of tolerance worldwide and to help them understand the negative effects of intolerance.
In 1996, the UN General Assembly (by resolution 51/95) invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance with activities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public.
This action followed on the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 at the initiative of UNESCO, as outlined in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the Year.
The 2005 World Summit Outcome document (A/RES/60/1) furthered the commitment of Heads of State and Government to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well as to encourage tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.
On International Day for Tolerance live discussions and debates take place across the world, focusing on how various forms of injustice, oppression, racism and unfair discrimination have a negative impact on society.
Many educators use the theme of this day to help students in classrooms or in lecture theatres understand issues centred on tolerance, human rights and non-violence. These issues are also found in text books, lesson material and other educational resources used for this event. Information on the day is disseminated through flyers, posters, news articles and broadcasts, and other promotional material to raise people’s awareness about the importance of tolerance. Other activities include essays, dialogues and story-telling of people’s personal accounts of intolerance and how it affects their lives.
Human rights activists also use this day as an opportunity to speak out on human rights laws, especially with regard to banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination against minorities.
So what will you do to celebrate this day? Let us know. Send us an email at gie.editor@gma[email protected].
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