Advancing Intercultural Dialogue and Cooperation Internationally: Reviewing 75 Years of UNESCO’s Contributions
Journal: Journal of Intercultural Communication & Interactions Research Volume 1 Issue 1 Year 2021 pp. 25 - 54
In commemoration of 75 years of the United Nations (UN) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this article provides a review of key initiatives related to culture preservation, cultural dialogue, and intercultural communication. From the experience and perspective of the first author, a recent UNESCO General Director, the article particularly focuses on projects that have affirmed indigenous cultures, sought to document and preserve cultural sites, ancient relics and historical accounts, reconsider local contexts and re-interpret neglected cultural histories, explore cross-border cultural exchange “routes,” and highlight programs that continue to foster intercultural dialogue, among many others. These reflect both an expansion to how “culture” is interpreted, valued, engaged in, and focused on in carrying out UN Agendas and UNESCO programs. Particular emphasis is placed on initiatives that show (1) why protecting world heritage is important, (2) why understanding culture and diversity matter, and (3) why advancing both education and technology contributes to greater intercultural dialogue, especially noting the roles of universities and higher education in these ongoing intercultural tasks.