In 1996, the UN General Assembly invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on the 16th of November.
Among other things, the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance defines tolerance as neither indulgence nor indifference, rather as respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world. There are numerous ways to be a human in our expansive planet and the concept of tolerance recognizes the universal human right and fundamental freedom of people to express their life and culture without hindrance, ridicule or cruelty. Tolerance, when enacted, ensures the survival and celebration of mixed communities in all reaches of the globe.
Here are 5 inspirational quotes that built the foundation of the International Day of Tolerance, celebrated on November 16th:
- On this International Day of Tolerance, I call on all people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism with dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. Let us advance against the forces of division and unite for our shared future.”
- “We, the people of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, … to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, … and for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors.”
- “Peace, if it is not to fail, must be founded on the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.”
- ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’ (Article 18), ‘of opinion and expression’ (Article 19), and that education ‘should promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups’ (Article 26).”
- Tolerance is a fundamental principle of life in society, stemming naturally from respect for human rights and human dignity. It is a principle that is more relevant now than ever and it is under serious threat. Cultural diversity is being targeted by extremist groups seeking to impose their sectarian vision on the world, and minorities are being persecuted, falling victim to attempts at “cultural cleansing”. In tackling these challenges, we must reaffirm with determination the need for tolerance by recalling that every culture is worthy of respect and that no belief deserves the hatred or scorn of others.”