UNESCO recognizes Cortes de Baza (Spain) for Dialogue and Coexistence


An article from Granada Hoy (reproduced without commerical purpose)

On August 20, in the cultural week prior to the festivities of Cortes de Baza, Cortes de Baza received recognition as the first Municipality for Dialogue and Coexistence in Andalusia. This appointment arises after the full agreement of the City Council on July 27, where Cortes assumed the institutionalization of the Culture of Peace in the municipality.

Neighbors from Cortes pose next to the title that recognizes them as a Municipality for Dialogue and Coexistence.

The agreement concerns the joint project of the Unesco Center of Andalusia and the Institute of Peace and Conflict of the University of Granada (IPAZ) where the municipality assumes the provisions of resolution A/RES/67/104 (2015) of the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Promotion of Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation among Religions and Cultures for Peace.

The agreement stipulates that diversity and plurality is an asset and that minorities, whether ethnic, linguistic, cultural or religious, should be recognized, with the aim of eliminating any form of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, in addition to look for the resolution of possible conflicts in a peaceful way.

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The agreement supports measures that promote tolerance, solidarity and coexistence with refugees, immigrants and displaced persons, as well as their social integration among other measures. It is the latter, a measure of special importance in recent days, where the arrival of people from other territories to our country is generating numerous debates on how to deal with this problem.

Under these premises and with the creation of the Intercultural Dialogue Table, organized on July 13, Cortes de Baza becomes the first Andalusian town with the recognition of Municipality for Dialogue and Coexistence.

The process of this recognition is carried out through the unequivocal demonstration that the locality assumes the aforementioned principles, through a municipal agreement as is also the case of the Altiplano municipality, where it was approved by unanimity of all political groups, and the creation of an Intercultural Dialogue Board, under the verification, advice and support of technicians and researchers from both the Unesco Andalusia Center and the IPAZ. It should be pointed out that the involvement of the City Council of Cortes de Baza as well as the teaching staff of the Colegio Santos Médicos in the locality has been fundamental.

The Intercultural Dialogue Board of Cortes de Baza is composed of people of different nationalities from Russia, Belgium, Romania, Colombia, Mexico, England, Dominican Republic, among others, as well as religious minorities such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims or Orthodox Christians.

It should also be mentioned that of the 16 members that make up this Board, all but three are women, giving it a feminist and integrative vocation. This plurality is appreciated in a small municipality such as Cortes de Baza, which has a population of less than 2,000 residents.