How can global citizens work together to foster greater common understanding and build more inclusive societies around the world? That was the question debated during the latest in Expo 2020 Dubai’s series of thematic weeks designed to explore solutions to key challenges that affect us all.
Held on 17-18 November 2020, Tolerance and Inclusivity Week brought together experts from around the world to spotlight initiatives that enhance multiculturalism, co-existence and interfaith understanding, as well as increase accessibility and support indigenous communities and cultures.
Promoting peace and security, inclusive dialogue, and responsible reporting in media and public forums, the virtual event featured remarks from Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation; accessibility and inclusion activist Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500; and Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy said: “The principles of multiculturalism and inclusivity, when achieved, grant us the immeasurable gift of being able to recognise and cherish common human values, while also appreciating our differences and the wonderful diversity of our species, its peoples and cultures.
“The UAE has embraced those principles of multiculturalism and inclusivity from our moment of inception as a nation nearly 50 years ago. It is a part of our DNA – a spirit that has long tied together our seven diverse emirates, and one we will continue to champion when we welcome the world to Expo 2020 Dubai.”
Alongside solutions from Expo 2020 international participants, the event showcased a number of Expo-backed initiatives already in place, through projects supported by its global innovation and partnership programme, Expo Live, and Expo’s Global Best Practice Programme.
These included Expo Live grantee WheeLog! – an app that crowdsources maps for wheelchair users – and a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) project that has improved cross-border coordination of livestock movements improving understanding and co-existence between different communities and promoting inclusive dialogue in regions affected by frequent conflicts over natural resources.
The event also featured ‘Dignified Storytelling’ – a series of sessions during Expo on avoiding stereotypes, stigmas and biased narratives, while ensuring respect for social and cultural norms – and wrapped up with a World Majlis that explored how institutions and economic systems can better meet the needs of people within the means of our planet.
Tolerance and Inclusivity Week was the fourth in a series of 10 thematic weeks – launched in October 2020 with Space Week – that bring together influential policy-makers, thought-leaders, Expo participants and the public for Q&A sessions and panel discussions that will help shape the thought-provoking content and conversations taking place during Expo 2020 Dubai.
Running from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 will seek collaborative solutions to the world’s most pressing issues – including weeks dedicated to the Global Goals, Climate and Biodiversity, Knowledge and Learning, and Water – to help shape a better, more sustainable future for all.