UN: 16 November 2007 – Tolerance is an important tool in tackling the growing threats facing humanity from conflicts to racism, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said.
“Our world today is confronted with war, terrorism, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, discrimination against minorities and migrants, and a multitude of other abuses against human beings,” Mr. Ban notes in his message marking the International Day for Tolerance.
Even globalization, “while knitting our world together, can also lead to greater fear and turning inward,” he adds.
t the same time, he notes that the world has at is disposal the tools necessary to tackle growing threats to intolerance. “We know that our best tools are cultural diversity, the work for sustainable development, and education for tolerance and peace. We know that our most powerful safeguards are a vigorous civil society, attentive to human rights, and a free and responsible media.”
He voiced hope the International Day will serve as a reminder of the need to adhere to the fundamental principle of tolerance in today’s world. “The imperative to tolerance is very clear to all of us, but the will must be stronger,” he stated.
In 1996, the General Assembly invited Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November. This came in the wake of the UN Year for Tolerance which was marked in 1995.