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International day for tolerance: a foreign policy perspective


By dxw

On the UN International Day for Tolerance, we will consider the impact of multiculturalism and diversity on foreign policy strategy and practice.


Foreign policy implications of multiculturalism: strategy and practice

Wednesday 16 November, 1700-1930 (WP1156)

90 Minute Dialogue

Today not only marks the sixteenth International Day for Tolerance, but also the date of the inaugural Wilton Park 90 Minute Dialogue. It is therefore apt that the chosen topic of discussion will be Foreign Policy Implications of Multiculturalism: Strategy and Practice, thus complementing a day of worldwide reflection on the importance of respecting diversity with a discussion on how this issue rightly informs and affects international policy considerations.

Monument to Multiculturalism, Toronto

The annual International Day for Tolerance was heralded by the UNESCO Declaration of Principles on Tolerance in 1995. It defined tolerance not only as a moral duty, but also a political and legal requirement, recognising the vital importance of education and state-level commitment.  November 16 was decreed by the UN General Assembly as the International Day for Tolerance. Through education and the encouragement of dialogue, the day aspires to enhance respect and cooperation among different cultures and draw attention to the negative effects of intolerance and discrimination.

At Wilton Park’s inaugural 90 Minute Dialogue, prepared with the support of the US Embassy and Institute for Government, leading policy makers and opinion formers will discuss the implications of multiculturalism on foreign policy. The keynote speaker, Spencer Boyer, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US State Department will consider the US’ efforts to reach diverse audiences in the context of both US ideals and more practical measures to counter violent extremism, support human rights and promote democracy and tolerance. The ensuing discussion, learning from and building on the expertise around the table, will be a positive and practical step in support of the International Day for Tolerance and the important ideals for which it stands. 


Further information

90 Minute Dialogue details 

UN Tolerance Day