Mostafa ALAEI: Human Rights and Cultural Diversity
February 20,2020   By:en.humanrights.cn
Human Rights and Cultural Diversity
Mostafa ALAEI

Mostafa ALAEI, Director General of the General Division of Human Rights and Women's Affairs, Former Ambassador of Iran to Venezuela, delivers a speech at the parallel session. (Jia Puyu/ en.humanrights.cn)
Mostafa ALAEI said that the world civilization is the melting pot of the fundamental principles inherent in the prominent and pervasive cultures and civilizations. Shared human principles are the foundation and the constituent elements of the universality of human rights. In this sense, it can be said that the fundamental rights emanated from humanity is universal. Hence, the values such as justice, peace, human solidarity and fundamental human rights form part of common heritage. Being the building blocks of the human civilization, however, the different cultural and religious disciplines have an inherent right to preserve and develop their own principles within the common whole i.e. diversity within universality. Furthermore, it becomes clear that no civilization can claim to be the absolute champion of the common principles and the sole foundation of human civilization, including in the area of human rights. Therefore, both in terms of common sense and based on international consensus, respect for cultural and religious diversity at the international level is one of the foundations of international peace and security.
The human relations and global interaction within the process of ongoing globalization have affected deeply in this domain. The consequence of the globalization in its different forms, and confluence of peoples and cultures was internationalism and multiculturalism. Thus, one can argue that respect for cultural diversity represents respect for human rights and strengthen the world’s civilizations, cultures and great religions that have created global civilization.
The question of cultural diversity within the universality of human rights involves several dimensions. On the thematic side, the international community needs to respond that how can human rights be reconciled with cultures and traditions. Under these circumstances, the main problem is how international human rights exists in a world with various cultures. Therefore, in the area of universal human rights and cultural diversity, there exists series of questions and concerns that need to be responded. On the other hand, establishing a fair international order that contains various aspects of normative and structural respect for cultural diversity and universal human rights in the context of peace and security as an indivisible whole, and creates its correspondent functional mechanisms in the international system, will have an important role in the meaningful realization of human rights contributing to the peace and international security. To provide the necessary ground for respecting cultural diversity, the international community should pay a close attention to key trends in conceptualization, international policy making, and international institutionalization. More importantly, focusing on the importance of mainstreaming respect toward cultural diversity in all relevant areas such as the universality of human rights, development, poverty reduction, free exchange of information as well as cooperation and solidarity in the context of U.N activities is an effective way in achieving the end goal. Without mainstreaming of respect for cultural diversity in the general context of culture of peace, humanitarian and peaceful ideals will face challenges and difficulties.
The United Nations General Assembly, Human Rights Council, UNESCO and other relevant international organizations should mainstream respect for cultural diversity in different fields and establish relevant institutions. In the next step, even the prospect of preparing a binding treaty at the international level that can integrate the objectives of the charter-based mechanisms in the field of cultural diversity into the commitment and obligations of member states can be even more useful and effective.
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