Promoting Music Diversity during the World Day for Cultural Diversity

On May 21, UNESCO and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) are joining forces to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Forty-four radio music channels across Europe, Canada, the US, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand will broadcast music and spoken word events to mark the occasion.

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development represents a precious opportunity to celebrate the essential role of cultural diversity as a key driver for peace and sustainable development. Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is therefore urgent and necessary for peace and stability. Protecting and promoting cultural diversity is also integral to reducing inequalities and building more inclusive societies.

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic of the past year threatening to undermine the culture sector, commitment to cultural diversity is more vital than ever. The media can play an essential role in this regard by promoting diverse cultural content on the radio and on the screen. Media diversity is also recognized as a key indicator for monitoring the implementation of the UNESCO 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Music diversity 

Ahead of the celebration, Noel Curran, Director General of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), said, “Music as a universal language has enhanced cultural diversity and shaped intercultural dialogue for centuries. Public radio music channels are strong supporters of music diversity, they inspire audiences daily by showing how natural intercultural connections can be. For these reasons, and also as a reaction to the multiple adverse events threatening our world’s diversity by making intercultural dialogue impossible, this initiative is a priority for us at the EBU. We will continue to look for partnerships and initiatives where we can make the case for cultural diversity, dialogue and development worldwide.”

“I would like to invite public service media and their audiences to mobilize themselves to support musicians, artists and cultural professionals who have been severely impacted by the pandemic, so that they can resume their creation to further strengthen the creative economy and the world’s cultural diversity,” highlighted Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity. 

Notable musicians that will be participating across EBU’s forty-four public service radio stations include: UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Tan Dun, Catalan viol player and conductor, Jordi Savall, composer and activist, Max Richter, award-winning artist and filmmaker, Yulia Mahr, and Egyptian soprano, Fatma Said. 

This year’s celebration also coincides with the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. For more information, visit the dedicated website

See Max Richter's message for World Day for Cultural Diversity.