On the occasion of 16 November – International Day for Tolerance, the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) emphasizes the importance of promoting and strengthening all protection mechanisms that will preserve the values of tolerance and coexistence as one of the most important legacies of Montenegrin society.
Decision-makers on the Montenegrin political scene must also understand the political dimension of the value of tolerance. The United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations encourage governments and heads of state, but also organizations and citizens, to promote the well-being of people, freedom and progress, as well as tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation between cultures and people. Tolerance is not only a moral, but also a political and legal duty, and it must be supported by legislation and practice that guarantee equal opportunities for all.
CCE assesses that the prevailing social rhetoric feeds tension in Montenegrin society to achieve particular interests, and this does not contribute to calming the tensions that citizens additionally feel due to the pandemic and the increasingly complex socio-economic situation. In this manner, flammable situations are created whose first targets are different in opinion, religion, nation and other affiliations, thus attacking the essential values of a civic and multicultural society.
Preservation and promotion of tolerance and equality is a continuous process, especially in challenging and unpredictable times, and we should all contribute to that. CCE has repeatedly pointed out the need to reform the education system, which will include greater development of tolerance, empathy, respect for diversity, but also the skills of analysis and critical reasoning as a key to defending against propaganda, indoctrination and manipulation.
CCE also calls on media to pay more attention to the creation of a critical and inclusive media space in their work, as well as to be more actively involved in building a more tolerant and free society.
Tolerance is a value that is built based on human rights and freedoms, and can always and easily be endangered. In addition to laws and institutions that directly protect rights, it is necessary to invest in the development of the upbringing and education of new generations in the spirit of understanding and tolerance.
On 16 November 1995, the United Nations (UN) member states adopted the Declaration on the Principles of Tolerance. In 1996, the UN General Assembly called on Member states to mark 16 November as the International Day for Tolerance.
Miloš Vukanović, Advisor