World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
By Jim Karygiannis
M. P. for Scarborough-Agincourt and Liberal Critic for Multiculturalism
May 21st: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development - a time for celebration, reflection, exploration and commitment.
In 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. The following year, the United Nations General Assembly declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
“A world of peace and solidarity can only be accomplished by acknowledging and celebrating our diversity.” - United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon
Bridging the gap between cultures is necessary for peace, stability and development - deepening our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and learning to live together better.
Multiculturalism is alive and well in Canada and it has its rightful place in our country. In Canada, multiculturalism is a vision of a free and diverse society in which all individuals live peacefully on an equal footing with each other.
We need to ensure that all Canadians are fully engaged in the great experiment we call Canada. This goal can be achieved in a number of ways including Canadians from different communities being at the same table to discuss issues that affect their communities and all Canadians sharing cultural traditions.
I encourage all Canadians to support cultural diversity not only on May 21st, but throughout the year, by visiting a museum or exhibit dedicated to other cultures; attending festivals that celebrate special cultural and religious occasions; and, talking with your neighbours to learn more about their traditions.
Canada is a proud multicultural nation that embraces a wide variety of cultures and heritages. Canadians of innumerable heritages help to foster this identity and strengthen the fabric of our society. Members of the many Diasporas in Canada have made, and continue to make, significant contributions in a number of areas including business, the arts, medicine and public service.
Canada continues to attract people from all over the world. We will continue to work together to build our nation and enhance our international reputation. As the Liberal Critic for Multiculturalism, I look forward to our ongoing work in building a stronger Canada.