The International Council
for Philosophy and Human Sciences

International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022)

What is the “rapprochement of cultures” all about?

The International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (IDRC) builds on the strong momentum created by and the achievements of both the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) and the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2010).

The current surge of flaring conflicts, acts of violence and intolerance demands urgent actions. Peoples and nations have to join forces for the development of a universal global consciousness free from stereotypes and prejudices. The International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures is to be understood as a commitment for addressing this pressing need to take into account and clearly demonstrate new articulations between cultural diversity and universal values.

The “rapprochement of cultures” implies that international security and social inclusion cannot be attained sustainably without a commitment to such principles as human dignity, conviviality and solidarity which are the corner stones of human coexistence, in all faiths and secular ideologies.  

Why an International Decade?

  • To help address major pressing global challenges through intercultural and interreligious dialogue for deepened understanding and cooperation for peace.
  • To build new commitments and follow-up actions to the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World  Decade (2001-2010), the Programme of Action for a culture of peace and non-violence and to the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2010).
  • To identify gaps and initiate more adequate solutions for creating more peaceful and inclusive societies.
  • To showcase why cultural diversity, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and participatory democratic governance are vital for development and peace, especially in time of crisis.

How to make it happen?

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the period 2013-2022 as the “International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures” in December 2012 (Resolution 67/104(link is external))

An Action Plan was adopted by the Executive Board of UNESCO in April 2014 (Document 194 EX/10). Through this Action Plan :

A three-steps approach towards the rapprochement of cultures was defined, including  :

  1. To evaluate the current status of inclusive policies, respectful of diversity and Human Rights;
  2. Setting annual priorities by elaborating or revising action plans, programmes or activities;
  3. Establishing meaningful and lasting partnerships at a national, regional and international level.

Four areas were determined as follows :

  1. Promoting mutual understanding and reciprocal knowledge of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity;
  2. Building a pluralist framework for commonly shared values;
  3. Disseminating the principles and tools of intercultural dialogue through quality education and the media and;
  4. Fostering dialogue for sustainable development and its ethical, social and cultural dimensions.

Who can join?

In proclaiming this Decade, the United Nations General Assembly requested UNESCO to be the lead UN agency and invited stakeholders from all walks of life to join, such as Member States, the United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, governmental and regional intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and the civil society at large, the academia, religious leaders and institutions, and ordinary citizens.

The success of this Decade depends on the commitment of everyone to instil a global movement in favour of mutual respect for peaceful coexistence of peoples from different background and horizon.


  • United Nations Year for Tolerance (1995)
  • A/RES/52/13 on the Declaration and Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010)
  • The United Nations Millennium Declaration (8 September 2000)
  • The proclamation of 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations
  • UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (4 November 2001)
  • the Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations and the Programme of Action contained in United Nations General Assembly resolutions 56/6 of 21 November 2001
  • UNGA resolutions 59/23 of 2 December 2004 “Promotion of interreligious dialogue”, 60/10 of 6 January 2004 “Promotion of interreligious dialogue and cooperation for peace”, 60/11 of 6 January 2004 “Promotion of religious and cultural understanding, harmony and cooperation” and 60/150 of 20 January 2006 “Combating defamation of religions”,
  • the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2010) A/RES/62/90
  • the proclamation of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022) A/RES/67/104 and its Action Plan (document 194EX/10)


Sector for Social and Human Sciences
Division for Social Transformations and Intercultural Dialogue




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  Article Source : UNESCO
March 6, 2017