World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
The Light of Conscience Illuminates Cultural Transmission
Zhang-men-ren of Tai Ji Men
Vice President of the Association of World Citizens,
NGO in Consultative Status with ECOSOC and Associated with the UN DPI
President of the Federation of World Peace and Love
May 21, 2023
Distinguished Guests, Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to join us in celebrating the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
Culture is the transmission of values, traditions, customs, life experiences, art, historical artifacts and so on from generation to generation. The rich and diverse cultures are the common heritage of human civilization. The United Nations proclaimed this day to "enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence."
Cultural diversity has given us a colorful and exciting world. At the same time, the misunderstanding of and disrespect to different cultures has been one of the reasons for conflicts and violence. For human survival and prosperity, we need to find ways to reduce hate and bias and to enhance understanding and tolerance.
Within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 11 is to achieve “sustainable cities and communities” with an aim to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” Within this goal, Target 11.4 aims to “strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.” In addition, the protection and promotion of culture will also contribute to decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, environmental protection, the promotion of gender equality, and peaceful and inclusive societies.
Cultural diversity is the foundation for creativity and innovation, and dialogue is a means of accelerating development. When all global citizens respect others’ cultures and appreciate their own, we will be able to achieve successful communication to facilitate progress. Learning from and integrating the strengths of other cultures can enrich and even revitalize our own.
Tai Ji Men, where traditional culture and the wisdom of yin and yang have been passed down from generation to generation, is on a mission of cultural transformation. In modern society, the Tai Ji Men culture enables people to obtain much-needed physical health as well as positive energy for their hearts and souls, allowing the ancient culture to flourish with renewed vitality.
The culture of peace, love, and conscience is a global culture which encourages people to be conscientious leaders and take action motivated by love and conscience. Love guides us to see the needs of others. Conscience leads us to act in accordance with truth, goodness, and beauty. A culture of peace, love, and conscience is the core principle of effective dialogue and communication.
The world in 2023 is more complex and dangerous than ever, with dark clouds looming over the roads ahead. To steer through the mess, we need to look inward. Conscience is the bright treasure in our hearts. Its brightness will show us the way to take righteous actions benefiting ourselves, others, communities, societies, and the world. Preserving culture is our shared responsibility. Governments, in particular, should take the lead for cultural preservation and exchange, such as encouraging and supporting civil society organizations to cherish and protect culture. For those groups which are devoted to promoting excellent cultures in the international arena, governments should offer support. When a nation has a good culture and uses quality education as a medium of communication, it can develop healthy economy and bring prosperity and wealth to the country.
Fostering a culture of peace, love, and conscience starts with ourselves. Listening to the call of conscience, we will be able to find the selfless love deep in our hearts. With peace in mind, we will be able to facilitate meaningful and effective conversations. Every global citizen can be a leader advocating a culture of peace, love, and conscience. Through collective efforts, we will be able to overcome the challenges ahead and pave the way for sustainable development.
Let us all cherish the beauty of our own cultures and appreciate the vibrancy of cultural diversity. On this World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, let us listen to our conscience and start constructive dialogues to build a better world for future generations.
May all people and all life on Earth be blessed.
May the light of conscience shine across the planet.
Let us work together to pass down cultural heritage.
May peace last forever in the world.