International Day for Tolerance

Friday, November 16, 2012

The MOT recognizes the International Day for Tolerance as designated by the United Nations in 1996.

"Building tolerance and understanding is fundamental for the twenty-first century.  In an increasingly globalized world – in which societies are growing more diverse – tolerance is central to living together.

Yet tolerance is being tested.  In the face of economic and social pressures, some seek to exploit fears and highlight differences to stoke hatred of minorities, immigrants and the disadvantaged.  To counter the rise of ignorance, extremism and hate-based political appeals, the moderate majority must speak up for shared values and against all forms of discrimination.

Our goal must be more than peaceful coexistence.  True tolerance requires the free flow of ideas, quality education for all, respect for human rights, and the sharing of cultures for mutual understanding. As we advance these values, let us draw strength and guidance from the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

Tolerance is both a condition of peace and an engine for creativity and innovation. In our evermore interconnected world, promoting tolerance is the way to build the  harmony we need to address pressing challenges and secure a better future."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message on the International Day for Tolerance
16 November 2012 

The MOT defines tolerance as:

1) A fair and objective attitude toward those whose opinions and practices differ from one’s own.

2) The commitment to respect human dignity.

There are two definitions because the concept of tolerance covers a lot: attitudes as well actions, individual choices as well as social, political and legal commitments. It is also a vision that encompasses everybody. Every person is both a purveyor and beneficiary of tolerance.

There are other great concepts to describe how we would like to see people learn, work and live together. Please share with us what tolerance means to you and what other words you like or recommend.

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