16 November: International Day for Tolerance

Declaration of Principles on Tolerance

Did you know that there are more than 2000 official languages in the world and about 4000 indigenous languages? Walking on the crowded streets of New York City I hear a lot of people – do they live here or are they tourists? – talk in languages beyond my comprehension. And every time I hear the melody of an unfamiliar language I smile and my heart leaps ... not being able to understand is a wonderful reminder that the world is so much bigger than my own one-sided and narrow perspective.

Educating for Tolerance

On November 16, the UN observes the International Day for Tolerance which aims to promote global understanding and respect. This day of observance was created in 1996 by General Assembly Resolution 51/95, stating the importance of tolerance as the basis of civil and global peace. As our world grows, cultures and ideas spread, and while there is an encouraging mixing of cultures, intolerance still remains all too prevalent. Intolerance can surface in the form of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, religious intolerance, incitement, etc.

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