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    UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity
    Adopted by the 31st Session of the General Conference of UNESCO Paris, 2 November 2001
       
    "The Declaration aims both to preserve cultural diversity as a living, and thus renewable treasure that must not be perceived as being unchanging heritage but as a process guaranteeing the survival of humanity; and to prevent segregation and fundamentalism which, in the name of cultural differences, would sanctify those differences and so counter the message of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights...

    The Universal Declaration makes it clear that each individual must acknowledge not only otherness in all its forms but also the plurality of his or her own identity, within societies that are themselves plural. Only in this way can cultural diversity be preserved as an adaptive process and as a capacity for expression, creation and innovation. The debate between those countries which would like to defend cultural goods and services “which, as vectors of identity, values and meaning, must not be treated as mere commodities or consumer goods”, and those which would hope to promote cultural rights has thus been surpassed, with the two approaches brought together by the Declaration, which has highlighted the causal link uniting two complementary attitudes..." << Back

    Koïchiro Matsuura
    Director-General

     

     

    Paragraphs relevant to Indigenous Knowledge from the Declaration

    MAIN LINES OF AN ACTION PLAN FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UNESCO UNIVERSAL DECLARATION ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY

    The Member States commit themselves to taking appropriate steps to disseminate widely the “UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity” and to encourage its effective application, in particular by cooperating with a view to achieving the following objectives:

    14 - Respecting and protecting traditional knowledge, in particular that of indigenous peoples; recognizing the contribution of traditional knowledge, particularly with regard to environmental protection and the management of natural resources, and fostering synergies between modern science and local knowledge.

     

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