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General Assembly

Distr: General
13 November 2000

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Fifty-fifth session
Agenda item 32

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

[without reference to a Main Committee (A/55/L.30 and Add.1)]

55/23. United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 53/22 of 4 November 1998 and 54/113 of 10 December 1999 entitled "United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations",

Reaffirming the purposes and principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, which, inter alia, call for collective effort to strengthen friendly relations among nations, remove threats to peace and foster international cooperation in resolving international issues of an economic, social, cultural and humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,

Noting that civilizations are not confined to individual nation-States, but rather encompass different cultures within the same civilization, and reaffirming that civilizational achievements constitute the collective heritage of humankind, providing a source of inspiration and progress for humanity at large,

Bearing in mind the specificities of each civilization and the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000,/1 which considers, inter alia, that tolerance is one of the fundamental values essential to international relations in the twenty-first century and should include the active promotion of a culture of peace and dialogue among civilizations, with human beings respecting one another, in all their diversity of belief, culture and language, neither fearing nor repressing differences within and between societies but cherishing them as a precious asset of humanity,

Noting that globalization brings greater interrelatedness among people and increased interaction among cultures and civilizations, and encouraged by the fact that the celebration of the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, will provide the opportunity to emphasize that globalization not only is an economic, financial and technological process which could offer great benefit, but also constitutes a profoundly human challenge that invites us to embrace the interdependence of humankind and its rich cultural diversity,

Recognizing the diverse civilizational achievements of humankind, crystallizing cultural pluralism and creative human diversity,

Bearing in mind the valuable contribution that dialogue among civilizations can make to an improved awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind,

Stressing the need for the universal protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right of all peoples to self-determination, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development,

Underlining the fact that tolerance and respect for diversity and universal promotion and protection of human rights are mutually supportive, and recognizing that tolerance and respect for diversity effectively promote and are supported by, inter alia, the empowerment of women,

Emphasizing the need to acknowledge and respect the richness of all civilizations, to seek common grounds among and within civilizations in order to address threats to global peace and common challenges to human values and achievements, taking into consideration, inter alia, cooperation, partnership and inclusion,

Welcoming the collective endeavour of the international community to enhance understanding through constructive dialogue among civilizations,

Encouraged by the positive reception of Governments, international organizations, civil society organizations and international public opinion to the proclamation of the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, and welcoming the initiatives undertaken by governmental and non-governmental actors to promote dialogue,

Expressing its firm determination to facilitate and promote dialogue among civilizations,

1.Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General;/2

2.Welcomes the convening, at the level of heads of State, of a round table on dialogue among civilizations, organized by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, held at United Nations Headquarters on 5 September 2000 and which further contributed to the promotion of dialogue among civilizations;

3.Invites Governments, the United Nations system, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and other relevant international and non-governmental organizations to continue and further intensify planning and organizing appropriate cultural, educational and social programmes to promote the concept of dialogue among civilizations, inter alia, through organizing conferences and seminars and disseminating information and scholarly material on the subject, and to inform the Secretary-General of their activities;

4.Calls upon Governments to encourage all members of society to take part in promoting dialogue among civilizations and provide them with an opportunity to make contributions to the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations;

5.Encourages all Governments to expand their educational curricula relative to the teaching of respect for various cultures and civilizations, human rights education, the teaching of languages, the history and philosophy of various civilizations as well as the exchange of knowledge, information and scholarships among Governments and civil society in order to promote a better understanding of all cultures and civilizations;

6.Encourages all Member States, regional and international organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations to continue to develop appropriate initiatives at all levels to promote dialogue in all fields with a view to fostering mutual recognition and understanding among and within civilizations;

7.Notes with interest the activities undertaken and proposals made by Member States, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and international and regional organizations, including the Organization of the Islamic Conference and non-governmental organizations, for the preparation of the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations;

8.Decides to devote two days of plenary meetings at the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, on 3 and 4 December 2001, to the consideration of the item, including consideration of any follow-up measures, and commemoration of the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, and encourages Member States and observers to be represented at the highest possible political level;

9.Invites all Governments, funding institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector to consider contributing to the Trust Fund established by the Secretary-General in 1999 to promote dialogue among civilizations;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the necessary support for strengthening the activities pertaining to dialogue among civilizations;

11. Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session a substantive report on the prospect of dialogue among civilizations and the activities pertaining to the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations;

12. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-sixth session the item entitled "United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations".

60th plenary meeting
13 November 2000