Interview: Dialogue key driver of human civilization: former UNESCO chief

  • World
  • Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

PARIS, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Former Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Bokova said in a recent interview with Xinhua that intercultural dialogue becomes ever more important as the world today is confronted with "numerous challenges" to peace and sustainable development.

On June 7, the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted a China-proposed resolution to designate June 10 as the International Day for Dialogue among Civilizations.

The UN itself was created in the belief that dialogue can triumph over discord, and UNESCO has actively worked to promote "fruitful diversity of cultures," Bokova said.

Dialogue is "a key driver of human civilization, a continuous force for creativity, for the development of new ideas and for the sharing of knowledge," she said, citing history of the Silk Road as an example.

"Over millennia, the wondrous story of the Silk Road has been one of encounters -- between people, cultures, religions and knowledge. These encounters have shaped civilizations over the ages ... catalyzing inventions ... fertilizing intellectual scholarship," Bokova said.

They also gave birth to literary and scientific treasures, to traditions and artistic practices that have been passed across generations, she added.

The Silk Road tells a story of human progress driven by mutual learning, and "they remind us no culture has ever flourished in isolation. Civilizations influence and enrich each other, growing stronger as they are more inclusive," Bokova said.

Bokova expressed hope that the International Day for Dialogue among Civilizations will strengthen the UN and UNESCO's activity in this area, and increase mutual understanding and knowledge among cultures around the world.

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