Statement on the International Day for Tolerance

16 Nov, 2020 | Press Releases

On 16 November 1995, on the day of its fiftieth anniversary the Member States of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. The following year, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted a resolution with which it invited Member States to observe 16 November as the International Day for Tolerance.

In the Declaration ‘tolerance’ is defined not as mere patience or indifference towards what one might not like or find agreeable, but as a value that respects and rejoices in the variety proper of human beings: People live and express themselves in a multitude of diverse ways, from culture, to religion and gender expression. Moreover, the Declaration also reflects on the importance that tolerance plays in the continued prosperous co-existence of different communities. Consequently, within the Declaration, tolerance is discussed in legal and political terms too, and relates it to international treaties and instruments to improve the human rights of individuals around the world.

According to the UN, a major promoter of equality and human rights, intolerance can be opposed and successfully defeated. It is possible to do so by enforcing human rights law and guaranteeing true equal opportunities to all, by combating ignorance and fear of the unknown with education, by guaranteeing access to information against false news, by starting to ask ourselves how tolerant we are, and by acting when we witness instances of intolerance in our day-to-day lives.

No Peace Without Justice strongly believes in tolerance and equal opportunities for all. No Peace Without Justice invites States to protect human rights against extremist views and intolerance, also by drafting national policies and contributing to international instruments for this purpose.