United Nations calls for Iraqis to embrace diversity
Baghdad, 21 May 2013 – On the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the United Nations calls on every Iraqi to embrace diversity and engage in dialogue to build bridges between communities and lay the foundation for peace.
“Diversity is Iraq’s greatest strength and a symbol of its rich cultural heritage, stretching back through the millennia,” said Mr. Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq.
“Today, social and cultural divisions are leading Iraq into conflict. Innocent civilians are caught up in violence. This is deeply troubling,” Mr. Kobler continued. “These divisions can be healed, through open dialogue that builds tolerance, mutual respect, and trust. All Iraqis, including the country’s leaders, must embrace their differences to build a new culture of peace.”
The Director of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Office in Iraq, Ms. Louise Haxthausen, added: “Iraq’s cultural diversity is grounded in the richness of its history and heritage and is today a wellspring of creativity and dynamism. Culture is an enabler for peace and development. By celebrating the diverse facets of their culture, the people of Iraq have the opportunity to develop a strong, shared but plural, cultural identity.”
For more information, please contact: Ms. Eliana Nabaa, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson