Tolerance Conference

Background of the Tolerance Conference

On the day of its fiftieth anniversary, 16 November 1995, UNESCO's Member States adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. Among other things, the Declaration affirms that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our World's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.
Collage of photos of diverse people. The Declaration qualifies tolerance not only as a moral duty, but also as a political and legal requirement for individuals, groups and States. It situates tolerance in relation to the international human rights instruments drawn up over the past fifty years and emphasizes that States should draft new legislation when necessary to ensure equality of treatment and of opportunity for all groups and individuals in society.
Along with outright injustice and violence, discrimination and marginalization are common forms of intolerance. Education for tolerance should aim at countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others, and should help young people develop capacities for independent judgment, critical thinking and ethical reasoning. The diversity of our World’s many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities is not a pretext for conflict, but is a treasure that enriches us all.

The Conference

WTS 2019 Conference will focus on how education and knowledge-sharing can be a powerful tool to teach and advocate tolerance in diversity.
The Conference will touch on issues vital to the promotion of tolerance and peaceful coexistence where every social fabric of society will be represented.
Every tier of society - women, youth, educators, employees, students, artists, governmentofficials, entrepreneurs, etc., will be well represented and will have a dedicated time to share their insights on building a vibrant and tolerant society.


International Tolerance Conference 2019 gathers together local and International ministers and Diplomats, cities, corporations, universities and the academe, organizations, religious institutions, cultural associations, non-governmental organizations, research institutes and centres, media, social media influencers, youth, and women on 05 October 2019 in BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
With the theme, ‘Tolerance in Multiculturalism: Achieving the Social, Economic and Humane Benefits of a Tolerant International ’, the one-day interactive Conference aims to strengthen Sri Lanka’s stance to be a model for tolerance and positive coexistence and be the catalyst to build greater understanding between cultures.
New event features of this year’s International Tolerance Conference are carefully designed to focus on the engines of tolerance- from individual to organizational and institutional levels, with steadfast hope to build the foundation of a tolerant International through legislation, education, positive use of and access to information, and through empowering individuals.

ITS Goals and Objectives

  • To be a platform to promote the values of tolerance among communities and families
  • To safeguard and promote the principles of tolerance in the educational system which includes schools, universities, and other learning institutions.
  • To create a culture of tolerance at every workplace where all employees can feel safe, and where everyone is offered equal employment opportunity
  • To forge local, regional, and international dialogues and partnerships to design Sri Lanka to be the global capital for tolerance
  • To spread Sri Lanka’s message of tolerance through local and international campaigns in traditional media and social media


  • Ministries & Government Departments
  • Corporates
  • International Organizations
  • Universities
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Religious Institutions
  • Cultural Associations
  • Research Institutes & Centers
  • People of Determination
  • Media