What is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development?

According to the United Nations, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an initiative day which acknowledges “the natural and cultural diversity of the world”. In 2001, the United Nations “adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity”, and in December 2002, the general assembly declared 21st May to be World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. In 2015, the general assembly “unanimously adopted the resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development”. The United Nations stated that this “[affirmed] culture’s contribution to the three dimensions of sustainable development, acknowledging further the natural and cultural diversity of the world, and recognising that cultures and civilisations can contribute to, and are crucial enablers of, sustainable development.”  

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development provides an opportunity for businesses to “deepen [their] understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions”. Adopted in October 2005, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions four goals are: “support sustainable systems of governance for culture; achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals; integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks; promote human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

What impact did the pandemic have on the cultural sector?

According to the United Nations, the pandemic had a major negative impact on the cultural sector. It states that “cultural events [were] cancelled, cultural institutions [were] closed, [and] community cultural practices [were] suspended”. The United Nations also goes further, saying that “[leaving] UNESCO World Heritage sites [unsupervised], heightened [the] risk of looting [at] cultural sites and poaching at natural sites, artists [were] unable to make ends meet and the cultural tourism sector [was] greatly affected”. Additionally, the United Nations has acknowledged that the impact of the pandemic “is social, economic and political – it affects the fundamental right of access to culture, the social rights of artists and creative professionals, and the protection of a diversity of cultural expressions.”  

The pandemic “[deepened] inequalities and [rendered] communities vulnerable,” according to the United Nations, and “creative and cultural industries contribute $2,250 [billion US dollars] to the global economy and account for 29.5 million jobs worldwide”.

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