ALL DIFFERENT, ALL UNIQUE (UNESCO, 2004)
Foreword by the Director-General of UNESCO
Cultural diversity enriches our lives in countless ways every
day. It is also an important source of identity and
basic human rights. The cultural diversity around us today is
the outcome of thousands of years of human interaction
with nature and among people with different customs, beliefs
and ways of life. Having inherited this priceless legacy, we need to ensure it
is passed down to future generations.
This transmission cannot and should not be taken for granted.
All cultures are creative and dynamic, but they
are also unique, fragile and irreplaceable. A culture neglected
for a single generation can be lost forever. It is therefore crucial to create a safe environment
in which all cultures can develop freely.
In order to preserve cultural diversity in all its variety and
vitality, the Member States of UNESCO unanimously adopted
the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001.
The document you have in front of you is a version of this text that has been developed by and
for young people around the world.
Through this version, we are seeking not only to introduce cultural
diversity and UNESCO to young people but also
to cultivate links among them wherever they may live. Through
international and intercultural friendship, young
people should benefit from cultural diversity and, through their
actions today, help to preserve it for generations
to come. Thus, while youth are the key to the future, it is essential
that they shape the present too. (Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO,