16 November: International Day for Tolerance observed globally
The International Day for Tolerance was celebrated across the world on 16 November 2017. The observance aims to bolster United Nations’ commitment to strengthen tolerance in the world by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples.
Taking forward the same commitment, the UN has launched a new campaign called ‘Together’ to promote tolerance, respect and dignity across the world. The global campaign aims to reduce negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants and to strengthen the social contract between host countries and communities and refugees and migrants.
• The UN General Assembly in 1996 invited all the member states to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November.
• The declaration followed the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, which was 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 UNESCO member states adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance on 16 November 1995, on the day of its 50th anniversary.
• The day is more important than ever in this era of rising violent extremism and widening conflicts that are characterized by a fundamental disregard for human life.
About Declaration of Principles on Tolerance
• The Declaration asserts that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference.
• It states that tolerance is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of the world's cultures, the various forms of expression and ways of being human.
• Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others.
• The Declaration qualifies tolerance not only as a moral duty, but also as a political and legal requirement for individuals, groups and States.
• The common forms of intolerance stated in the declaration include outright injustice and violence, discrimination and marginalization.
• It further states that tolerance education should aim at countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others and should help young people develop capacities for independent judgment, critical thinking and ethical reasoning.
Further, UNESCO also established the Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence in 1995, to mark the United Nations Year for Tolerance and the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The prize aims to recognise institutions, organizations or persons who have contributed significantly in the field of science, arts, culture and communication with activities that promote the spirit of tolerance and non-violence. It is awarded every two years on the International Day for Tolerance.
The 2016 winner was the Federal Research and Methodological Centre for Tolerance Psychology and Education (Tolerance Centre) of Russia.