United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations


Emblem of the United Nations Year of Dialogue among CivilizationsWhat does a dialogue among civilizations mean? One could argue that in the world there are two groups of civilizations--one which perceives diversity as a threat and the other which sees it as an opportunity and an integral component for growth. The Year of Dialogue among Civilizations suggests us to revisit diversity and to seek a new system of relations based on inclusion. Hence, the goal of the Year is to nurture a dialogue that is both preventive of conflicts-when possible-and inclusive in nature.


To do this, Governments, the United Nations system and other relevant international and non-governmental organizations were invited by the United Nations General Assembly in November 1998 to plan and implement cultural, educational and social programmes to promote the concept of the dialogue among civilizations.


In a resolution adopted on 13 November 2000, the General Assembly decided to devote two days of plenary meetings at its fifty-sixth session to commemorate the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations and consider any follow-up measures. The Assembly also encouraged Member States and observers to be represented at the highest possible political level at these meetings.


Slovenia - stamp United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations 2001In August 1999, the postal administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran proposed to the Universal Postal Union to organise an international stamp-design competition for a common design to promote the Year of "Dialogue among Civilizations". As a result, the UPU invited all interested countries to organize a nation-wide competition for the design of the stamp and submit the winning design to the International Bureau.


Among the submitted designs from 28 participating countries, four finalists from India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Poland and Slovenia were selected at the UPU headquarters in Switzerland by an international jury that included a Swiss designer and a Swiss artist, a representative from the Swiss National Federation of Philately, a representative of the Swiss Post Office, a representative from the United Nations and a representative from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


The winner was chosen at the general meeting of the World Association for the Development of Philately, held in Madrid in October 2000 during the ESPAŅA 2000. The winning design made by Urška Golob from Slovenia is a simple drawing of children in a communication circle around the world. The children represent the four main races of the world. Through the use of a letter, parcel, telephone and computer, the design emphasises the importance of communication among people. While at the same time highlights the role of the post. More than 60 countries have used the winning design to issue a postage stamp commemorating the UN Year of Dialogue among Civilizations.


After this year the activities in the field of dialogue among civilizations were continued, mostly coordinated by UNESCO.





Official website for the Year of Dialogue.

Dialogue among civilizations from UNESCO.

All the International Years proclaimed by the General Assembly.



Catalogue - United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations


Aruba                                        9 October 2001

Bangladesh                                24 October 2001

Republic of Moldova                   9 October 2001

Tunisia                                      9 October 2001



Catalogue - Dialogue among Civilizations


Netherlands Antilles                    24 October 2002









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last revised: 15 August 2010