Date: May 16th 2019 | Location: Paris
Representatives from Düsseldorf at UNESCO in Paris
The United Nations are putting special matters into public focus by organizing „International Days“ such as the International Women’s Day or the World Health Day. Following this tradition the Second International Day of Living Together in Peace was held on May 16th this year. The International Day of Living Together in Peace was initiated by the U.N. General Assembly in 2017. The UNESCO oversees events during the International Day on Living Together in Peace and has a round table discussion in Paris which Düsseldorf joined.
The chief diversity officer of the state capital Düsseldorf, Jana Hansjürgen, met up with representatives of various cities including Montréal and Strasbourg and debated on how a peaceful coexistance of people of different religious and cultural backgrounds as well as different sexual orientations can and must be achieved in pluralistic municipal communities.
During the round table discussion in Paris, the International Mayors Conference on Living Together in Düsseldorf (August 30th - September 1st 2019) was also promoted. Mayors and other high ranked municipal representatives from all over the world are expected to come to Düsseldorf and talk about questions related to Living Together in their respecitve cities.
„Internationality and diversity shape the city of Düsseldorf: People from all parts of the world, different faiths and ethnic backgrounds, different sexual orientations call Düsseldorf their home“, says mayor Thomas Geisel. „Tolerance, respect, freedom of speech and solidarity are no lip service. During the refugee crisis which the citizens of Düsseldorf greeted with their open and welcoming nature this became especially visible.“
The city of Düsseldorf has been dedicated to living together peacefully for many years. Düsseldorf has close relationships with its sister cities and is an active member in a number of networks that aim to exchange best practices. Therefore Düsseldorf has been part of the international „Living Together/Vivre Ensemble“ network since 2015 which by now consists of 48 cities. Goal of the organisation is having regulare professional discussions on current trends and challenges affecting municipal areas. These exchanges happen via the website of the Observatory, which is filled with many best practice examples, as well as personal exchanges between the representatives and administrations of the member cities.
Civil engagement is a key element for peaceful coexistence. During the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st and the Diversity Day on May 28th – both organized by the city's chief diversity officer Jana Hansjürgen – many events were arranged sensitizing the public for the matters of diversity and living together peacefully.