Resolution on Education for Cultural Diversity

published 23 July 2004 updated 31 March 2017

The Fourth World Congress of Education International, meeting in Porto Alegre (Brazil) from 22 to 26 July 2004:

1. Affirming that cultural rights are fundamental human rights;

2. Noting the existing imbalance in the flow of cultural goods and services between nations at the global level, and concerned with how the forces of globalisation and trade liberalisation are posing new threats to the preservation and development of cultures in different ways;

3. Confirming the importance of preserving languages as reservoirs of thought, history, and knowledge and recognising that there is a special need to preserve the cultures and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples;

4. Stressing that education at all levels has a central role to play in promoting artistic, linguistic and cultural diversity within and among nations;

5. Further stressing that each individual's ability to learn about, access, and participate in his or her culture is the basis for sustaining and promoting cultural diversity;

6. Recognising that by teaching respect for the diversity of human cultures, educators can promote amongst the peoples of the world - tolerance, dialogue and cooperation which are the best guarantee of peace;

7. Endorsing the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity of November 2001 and the Council of Europe Declaration on Cultural Diversity of December 2000;

8. Recognising the privileged role of teachers all over the world to promote equality, diversity and non-discrimination between the different cultures that inhabit all our continents;

9. Stressing that, for many people, cultural diversity, like society, the economy and the environment, is a pillar of sustainable development;

The Fourth World Congress:

10. Calls on governments to implement the UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity of November 2001 and its Action Plan;

11. Invites EI Member organisations to: a. Encourage governments and education systems to incorporate, where appropriate, traditional knowledge and teaching skills, and particularly those of indigenous peoples and minority groups, within their curriculum; b. Promote teacher education and training in a culturally diversified perspective where appropriate and to foster, where possible, linguistic diversity within all levels of education and to promote multilingualism so that the linguistic heritage of humanity may be safeguarded; c. Demand that education in cultural diversity with respect for gender, race, traditional knowledge and religious cultures be incorporated into the training of education employees and in the curricula of pupils.

The Role of EI

12. EI should: a. Carry on the necessary discussions with UNESCO and other relevant bodies with the goal of implementing policies and programs that assist under developed countries, less developed countries, and countries in transition to build the educational and communication infrastructure in which diverse cultural expression can flourish;

b. Support the efforts of UNESCO to develop a legally-binding international instrument to ensure that cultural diversity is preserved in the face of unprecedented challenges posed by economic globalisation, rapid technological change, and the growing imbalance of international cultural expression.

c. Take all necessary steps in ongoing GATS negotiations, or any other negotiations that might commence about trade and investment, to ensure that policies aimed at preserving cultural diversity are not threatened as a consequence of trade rules.