It is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on Sunday 21 May 2023, a day which has been celebrated on this day since 2002.
It was first declared by The United Nations General Assembly, after UNESCO adopted the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which recognises the need to “enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence.”
Since the adoption of ‘The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ in 2015 by all United Nations Member States, UNESCO states that ‘the message of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is more important than ever’.
This is because UNESCO highlights how the 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved if the world’s diverse cultures and creativity are harnessed through continuous dialogue, in order to make sure that everyone in society will benefit from sustainable development.
The definition of culture by UNESCO (2001)
The UNESCO definition of culture is that it is a ‘set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, that encompasses, not only art and literature, but lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs.’
UNESCO in the UK says this day is important as it provides the opportunity to promote culture and show how diversity is an enabler for inclusion and positive change. And this is the view of Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO:
“On 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, UNESCO encourages people around the world to join us in celebrating cultural diversity and advocating for ways to protect and promote it in their own communities. In this way, all will be included and no one will be left behind.”
You can learn more about how to get involved here with the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
At ILX we believe it is important to also celebrate and raise awareness of culture and diversity within organisations. A few years ago, we realised that we needed to do more to bring people from different backgrounds into our business and support them once they're here, and have actively worked on this since.
Our internal DE&I working group is dedicated to continually improving our diversity and inclusion policy, and raising awareness of DE&I. We also run a regular internal survey to understand the demographics of our organisation, which helps us reflect on our progress, and continue to build on it.
To help raise awareness, our DE&I group write regular blogs, such as this one, post on our social media channels and we recorded a series of podcasts with employees and guest speakers on diversity and inclusion at work, which discuss age, disability, gender identity, mental health, race & ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and starting the conversation.
Find out more about our DE&I group here.