A major challenge of the Twenty-First Century is to make diversity out of difference, that is to say, to promote unity by cultivating – and not by reducing – human complexity.
The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in Paris, France, on November 2, 2001. It was the 249th resolution adopted at the 57th session (.pdf link) of the United Nations General Conference. Although the declaration was the culmination of years of work, it was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This reaffirmed the need for intercultural dialogue to prevent segregation and fundamentalism.
Read here the Message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO,on the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 21 May 2009.