Press Release:-The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) recognises the International Day of Tolerance, being observed today, November 16, 2016.
We join the UNESCO Director-General in noting that “In a world of diversity, tolerance is a prerequisite for peace. It is also a lever for sustainable development, as it encourages the construction of more inclusive and thus more resilient societies that are able to draw on the ideas, creative energy and talents of each of their members.”
Inclusivity often focuses, and rightly so, on disability, race, gender, nationality and religion. However, there is a need to expand the conversation as there still remain significant gaps with regards to tolerance and respect of others perceived to be different or in the minority.
Exclusion and discrimination are still legitimately promoted by our leaders and enthusiastically adopted by the majority. However, as studies by CADRES and UNAIDS have proven, this is to the detriment of the holistic development of our countries and our region, as discrimination fosters negative economic, physical, psychological consequences.
“I believe in evolution and that tolerance begins with acceptance, support and love”, says head of ECADE affiliate VincyCHAP in Saint Vincent Sean Fredericks. “There are always movement of change which allows fear and challenges of understanding new things. So today and moving forward, open to learn, open to understand and open to tolerance and accept,” he urges.
ECADE member organisations across the eastern Caribbean call on the people of the eastern Caribbean to reflect the principles enshrined in our national constitutions all speak to inclusivity, fairness and freedoms.
These very fundamentals are being denied to many marginalised communities due to lack of tolerance. We use this occasion to encourage a wider conversation and exploration of the principles unpinning tolerance and the high cost of continued discrimination.