Inter-cultural Dialogue

Dialogue among civilizations is part of the fundamental structure of the United Nations. This point was underlined by former Secretary-General, Kofi Annan when he stated, “The United Nations was created in the belief that dialogue can triumph over discord, that diversity is a universal virtue and that the peoples of the world are far more united by their common fate than they are divided by their separate identities.”

Most conflicts stem from intolerance which is often brought on by ignorance. The diversity of the world makes for an enriching experience in sharing and learning about our differences, experience that can foster peaceful coexistence between peoples. Inter-cultural dialogue entails the sharing of ideas and differences with the intent of developing a deeper understanding of different perspectives and practices.  According to UNESCO, intercultural dialogue fosters social cohesion and helps to create an environment conducive to sustainable development.  Universities and institutions of higher learning have a unique capacity to foster intercultural dialogue because they are hubs of knowledge and discourse. 

Young people want to build societies based on equity, social justice, inclusion and a shared future, all of which require inclusive socio-economic growth based on democratic and inclusive governance systems as well as respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms, including cultural diversity.  Young people can play a crucial role in advancing intercultural dialogue and cross cultural understanding and they can help shape the social, economic, political and cultural life of their communities and their countries.

This hub is currently vacant.  If you are interested in becoming a hub please email academicimpact@un.org.