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« Being most characteristic      
shall enable one to be universal »
  M. Gorki

 

«At any time, in every place, each one of us and every human being is unique. Everyone of us is therefore surrounded and defined by others and by otherness. The other one thus multiplied bears the name : diversity ..... Yes, diversity is a reality of which we should become conscious and accept it. Diversity is a reality that disturbs us, holds us back and frightens us. It's up to us to show its beauty and its advantages and thus tranform it from an obstacle into a foundation to lean on. Individual uniqueness is the most important characteristic of the human race, and it is thanks to this uniqueness that voluntary and thoughtful exchange from one individual to the next is so beautiful.

Our challenge is to maintain and preserve individual diversity within the collective project and experience this diversity together. As such, if diversity is our richness, unity is our strength. This unity, which is based on words - the power of the spoken word, on values on which commun action is founded, on justice, freedom, liberty and equality in "the intelectual and moral solidarity of the human race". ..

Is it possible to preserve cultural diversity in a context of shared values? Let's be even more ambitious than that and conserve cultural diversity in our acts through the uniting of our minds. Once again Miguel de Unamuno saw far ahead sixty-five years ago when he said "The ultimate goal of the human culture may be to reach spiritual unison".

Federico Mayor, Directeur général de l'UNESCO,
Conférence intergouvernementale sur les politique culturelles pour le développement,
Stockholm 1998

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