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The Mainstreaming of Intercultural Dialogue in the Council of Europe, OSCE and UNESCO

D. Intercultural Dialogue and Human Rights, Civil Society and World Order Issues (Padua Team)

Stefano Valenti (2007)

Contenuto in:

Intercultural Dialogue and Citizenship

Tipologia pubblicazione

: Articolo / Saggio


: 529-544


: IT


The paper intends to contribute useful information facilitating interaction of this specific research project with other present and future initiatives in the field of intercultural dialogue. The contribution contains a brief repertory and evaluation of the recent initiatives taken in the area of intercultural dialogue by UNESCO, OSCE and the Council of Europe. As regards CoE, intercultural dialogue has become increasingly an essential tool for an effective respect of human rights, strengthening of social cohesion, with particular attention to vulnerable groups. The CoE is preparing a «White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue». Intercultural dialogue has also become one of the major component in all UNESCO activities dealing with cultural pluralism, intercultural education and diversity. Under the UNESCO’s strategic objective 8, a specific set of activities are deemed to help promoting intercultural dialogue. In an attempt to give cultural rights more universal recognition, UNESCO adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. OSCE activities specifically devoted to intercultural dialogue are mainly concentrated, in addition to OSCE field operations, in the Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media, the High Commissioner on National Minorities and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The papers highlights three common denominators in the mainstreaming of intercultural dialogue of CoE, UNESCO and OSCE: an increased focus of their activities on the topic, including those apparently not closely related to intercultural dialogue, an improvement of internal and external coordination, an attempt to involve all sectors of society in their activities. The paper concludes that it is very difficult for international organisations to counter a situation where tensions across cultures have spread beyond the political level into the hearts and minds of individuals: any action to favour intercultural dialogue will bear fruit only if it will come up with concrete solutions that can be put into practice in favour of these individuals.

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