Social transformations and intercultural dialogue

Demand for inclusion, greater equality, social cohesion and peace, through intercultural and interreligious dialogue has never been so urgent. UNESCO supports Member States in developing innovative inclusive policies.

All  countries  are undergoing profound social transformations which reflect, amongst other key conditions, current demographic dynamics, rapid urbanization, the impact of new information and communication technologies, along with the rise of new democratic aspirations and also the consequences of crises and natural disasters. These are opening vast new opportunities for inclusive development. Social transformations are also giving rise to new challenges of deepening inequality, exclusion and tensions within societies, as globalization brings people with diverse backgrounds and with different cultures ever closer together.

Building on its experience to date, and with a view to developing innovative and forward-looking initiatives in the area of social transformation and intercultural dialogue, UNESCO is seeking to expand its partnerships to support Member States in the following areas:

  • formulating public policies on social transformations, with special emphasis on social inclusion and renewed intercultural dialogue, by strengthening linkages between research and policy making;
  • supporting Member States to empowerthe present and future generations with the appropriate knowledge, competences, skills and tools necessary to exchange, communicate and cooperate across cultural, religious and national boundaries, and to become responsible global citizens in a safer world for all.
  • developing UNESCO’s leadership as a laboratory of ideas and a forum for foresight - innovating and anticipating through dialogue and the mobilization of expertise.

Through the intergovernmental Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme, UNESCO strengthens links between scientific research and policy-making; builds human and institutional capacities for the implementation of public policies; and develops its leadership role as a laboratory of ideas and a forum for foresight.

UNESCO has been assigned with the lead role of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures  by the UN General Assembly.