Bratislava, May 20 (TASR) – Cultural diversity has been viewed in Slovakia mainly as a problematic issue rather than an enriching element, Marian Mesaros, CEO of the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights (SNSLP), told TASR on Friday.
Mesaros spoke in anticipation of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, which will fall on Saturday (May 21).
“People in Slovakia are more inclined towards xenophobia than towards multiculturalism,” said Mesaros. The generalisation of this issue by top state representatives, media and society itself are the main reasons for the current situation, said the SNSLP CEO.
In this context, Mesaros recalled Article 1 of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity from 2001, which states: “Cultural diversity as a source of exchanges, innovation and creativity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature.”
Xenophobia as fear of foreigners is then the exact opposite of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, thinks the SNSLP CEO.
Cultural diversity means “opening up new perspectives and showing various aspects of understanding society,” said Mesaros. “If we learn to tolerate other cultures in their diversity, we’ll find out that we have much in common,” he added.