NAM affirming the importance of Cultural Diversity

Since its inception, Non Aligned Movement has affirmed the importance for all peoples and nations to hold develop and preserve their cultural heritage in a national and international atmosphere of peace, tolerance and mutual respect. As such NAM has stressed the necessity of respecting cultural diversity and maximizing its benefit, through working together to build a harmonious and productive future by putting into practice and promoting values and principles such as justice, equality and nondiscrimination, democracy, fairness and friendship, tolerance and respect within and among communities and nations. NAM recognizes that the world today is composed of States with diverse political, social and cultural systems and religions determined by their history, traditions, values and cultural diversity, whose stability can be guaranteed by the universal recognition of their right to freely determine their own approach towards progressive development. .
NAM has recognized the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds and urged all actors on the international scene to contribute to the building of international order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and promotion of, and respect for cultural diversity and universal human right. The movement has reaffirmed the commitment of international community to promoting international cooperation, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, in particular Article 1, paragraph 3, as well as relevant provisions of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993 for enhancing genuine cooperation among Member States in the field of human rights;
The NAM Algiers Ministerial Declaration of 2014 mentioned that “pluralism, tolerance, dialogue and understanding of religious and cultural diversity are essential for peace and harmony. Acts of prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, and racial, religious and sectarian profiling are affronts to human dignity and equality, and should be condoned. Respect for democracy and human rights and the promotion of understanding and tolerance by governments as well as between and among minorities are central to the promotion and protection of human rights.” NAM leaders reaffirmed that States have the duty to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination and in full equality before the law. At the Algiers ministerial summit, NAM also decided to continue to give adequate attention to the cultural diversity of minorities, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities, as well as to design and deliver high-quality literacy programmes for youth and adults.
The movement has also called for a greater role of the non- state actors such as media in its member states in developing a better understanding among all religions, beliefs, cultures and peoples and to facilitate a dialogue among societies, as well as to create an environment conducive to the exchange of human experience and urged to continue their efforts in promoting interfaith and intercultural understanding and cooperation for peace, development and human dignity. In this regards, the establishment of a “NAM Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity” in Tehran is an important initiative. The Center serves as a focal point to enhance cooperation and dialogue among Non – Aligned Movement member states as well as between these States and other United Nations member states with the purpose of inter alia, the realization of NAM’s objective of promoting cultural diversity.
Among the NAM member states, the example of India must be mentioned in a discourse on cultural diversity. India has shown the way not only to fellow NAM Member States but to the entire global community how to be a strong and unified country while simultaneously affirming its cultural diversity. Indian policy makers linked equality for the individual with equality for diverse communities thereby articulating the principle of unity in diversity. India has paid attention to accommodating not only the aspiration of religious and linguistic diversities, but also tribal diversities.
In conclusion it can be said that the Non Aligned Movement has emphasized that respect for the diversity of systems and approach is a core value which relations and cooperation among States in an increasingly globalizing world should be based on, with the aim of contributing to establishing a peaceful and prosperous world, a just and equitable world order, and an environment conducive to exchanging human experiences.

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