The Canadian Race Relations Foundation Marks the International Day of Tolerance
November 16, 2018, Toronto – In 1993, the United Nations, acting on an initiative sponsored by UNESCO, moved that 1995 would be proclaimed the Year for Tolerance. In 1996, the UN invited its member states to mark November 16, annually, as the International Day of Tolerance in order to assist in the fulfilment of both the UN Charter, which declared the intention of its signatories to “live in peace with one another as good neighbours” and the Constitution of UNESCO, which declared that peace must ‘be founded, if it is not to fail, on the intellectual and moral solidity of mankind.”
“Two decades later, the need for tolerance is more deeply felt than ever before,” said Rajesh Uttamchandani, Acting Chairperson of the Board, CRRF. “Now, as in 1995, conflict continues as nations seek to settle their grievances through aggression rather than diplomacy. And within nations, opposing sides seem further apart than ever before. Social media, the technology that was supposed to bring us closer together has instead resulted in self-imposed exile in echo chambers that provide comfort but no understanding of those with whom we disagree. The creation of these multiple solitudes promotes disrespect, distrust and in extreme cases, violence.”
“In Canada, we have worked to create a society in which difference is celebrated rather than merely tolerated, but despite the efforts of many, there remains much to be done,” said Dr. Lilian Ma, CRRF Executive Director. “Hate crimes against targeted communities remain a dark stain on the values that the overwhelming majority of Canadians support, and beyond our borders, we see evidence of the tragic damage that hatred can exact. And yet we have reason not to despair. Following the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, communities came together to form rings of peace around Jewish places of worship. In such gestures we can find both comfort and hope for the future.”
The CRRF invites readers to enjoy its Canada 150 Stories for a small sample of the diversity that has built Canada, and follow upcoming initiatives being developed under Canada Beyond 150: A Promise to Our Children. On Monday, December 10, 2018, the CRRF will partner with the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services (CICS) to host an evening to commemorate the 70th anniversary for the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. See www.crrf-fcrr.ca for more information.
About the Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The purpose of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation is to facilitate throughout Canada the development, sharing and application of knowledge and expertise in order to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society. The work of the Foundation is premised on the desire to create and nurture an inclusive society based on equity, social harmony, mutual respect and human dignity. Its underlying principle in addressing racism and racial discrimination emphasizes positive race relations and the promotion of shared Canadian values of human rights and democratic institutions.
For more information
Lilian Ma 416 441-1900