Sat | Jun 6, 2020

UN agency calls for unity as globe marks World Day for Cultural Diversity

Published:Thursday | May 21, 2020 | 12:19 PM
Contributed photo

Judana Murphy, Gleaner Writer

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is urging people around the world to find ways to unite as it marks World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

Legal and advocacy director, Yamini Ravindran from Sri Lanka, asserted that COVID-19 has intensified the need to reimagine the nature of intercultural dialogue with this new phenomenon of social distancing.

“Contact and interaction between people is at the heart of intercultural dialogue. Post COVID-19 we will realise what an important role digital means is going to play so we must begin to bridge that digital divide,” she appealed.

The online event was part of UNAOC’s #OneHumanity campaign, through which stories of solidarity have been collected from its global community to inspire the world to stay united amid the crisis.

UNAOC young peacebuilder, Afaf Lamkoutar, asserted that the global pandemic is a wake-up call to invest in research for youths around the world.

“We observed how air pollution decreased significantly and air quality got better. This is another call to reconsider our responsibility towards nature and think of alternative ways to maintain economic growth without harming our planet,” Lamkoutar said.

Meanwhile, founder and president of Beach Soccer Worldwide, Joan Cusco, noted that sports has a unique way to bring people together.

Cusco posited that the impact of COVID-19 may not have been so widespread if there was a culture of one humanity with countries acting in a more global way.

“We have to involve people at risk of social discrimination around the world of sports because its something that unites us. People in low-income communities must be given access and resources to engage in sports,” he shared.

Though it is unclear what the sporting arena will look like when the pandemic blows over, he is urging people to embrace togetherness.  

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