One of UNESCO’s cultural priorities is promoting cultural diversity. For such diversity to be fruitful, it should be based on mutual interest of people, respect for other cultures, dialogue and spiritual enrichment. These are cornerstones for forging peace in the minds and hearts of people. Thus, it is relations between people that ensure that cultures are rich and diverse. The most fruitful relationships are those based on values that are shared by all peoples of the world and that are embedded in their cultural and spiritual heritage.
In a time like this, spiritual human values accumulated over centuries are what matters the most. Following these values, people managed to withstand many trials and retain their identity. So it should be now!
These highest manifestations of human spirit include integrity and self-sacrifice, kindness and tolerance, selflessness and compassion, mutual respect and honor. These human traits unveil an incredibly powerful creative force but they are not always duly appreciated. Society is not always capable of singling out great persons among the general public. These outstanding personalities do not belong to elites, they go unnoticed by millions of people who at the same time would not be able to do without them.
We think that it is critically important for the humankind to endorse any burgeons of nobleness, high spiritual and moral values, mutual understanding and good will, cooperation and supportiveness.
These high qualities do not exist on their own. They are manifested and translated into life by actual people who embody the ideals of kindness and humanity.
Common people are rarely celebrated on merit in the global community, which has traditionally focused on elites such as researchers and writers, actors and showmen, political, public and state personalities. There is no prize in the world to reward outstanding members of the general community.
It is now that the humanity is going through a critical turn in its history, a key idea is acutely needed to showcase outstanding persons among us, to open a space of humanity, to draw more attention to basic values.
As a response to this need, we have founded World Prize ‘For the Greatness of Spirit’.
Having adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001, UNESCO member states confirmed their commitment to cultural diversity as a source of development that is “as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”. They also rejected outright the theory of the inevitable clash of cultures and civilizations.
The UNESCO believes that some objects of the cultural and natural heritage are of outstanding value to the entire humanity and thus should be considered as part of the world heritage.
All nations have always held their spiritual and cultural heritage in the highest regard. It is the golden thread that can connect people based on common, clear and understandable criteria, i.e. integrity, good conscience, selflessness, love for people, one’s country and the entire humankind.
The established Prize will contribute to achieving these goals. Who, if not the UNESCO, is best suited to leading this project, bearing the banner of promoting better interhuman relations, mutual respect and understanding?