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The Carthage Charter for Tolerance

...At a time in humanity's history when progress in science and technology is bringing people closer together, obliging societies to be increasingly receptive to one another and thereby requiring that we subject the image we have of ourselves and of others to critical examination, we are more than ever called upon to view tolerance as a universal principle, an ethical and political ideal.

We should bear in mind that tolerance is not an attitude that arises spontaneously but a virtue, patiently acquired. It is therefor a responsibility which is incumbent upon the education system. Education for tolerance should be considered an urgent necessity, which is why we should work to promote a pedagogy of tolerance that will, in a systematic and rational manner, address the very sources--cultural, social, economic and political--of intolerance, the principal root of all violence and a major form of exclusion.

In the aim of strengthing this education for tolerance, the Carthage Conference sets down the following principles:

  1. The attempt to eradicate all forms of intolerance requires that liberty, the inviolacy of the conscience, be recognized as one of the very foundations of human existence, which in turn dictates the establishment of democracy, political pluralism and mutual recognition and respect.
  2. The right to liberty and all its forms requires the existence of the rule of law, whose function it is to create a climate that favors the coexistence of individuals of differing convictions, and not only of those who share the same certitudes.
  3. The existence of intolerable situations created by economic and social inequalities, by inequitable international relations and by imposed economic policies means that profound change will be necessary to create an environment which enables human beings to practice tolerance.
  4. Humanity's long experience reveals clearly that there can be no peace among men without peace among beliefs, be they political or religious. It is therefore incumbent upon the three monotheistic religions in the Mediterranean basin to promote the values of liberty, tolerance and human rights, in their internal and mutual relations and in their relations with other societies.
  5. Humanity is one, and it basic values are identical; any right to difference has real meaning only within the framework of an aspiration to universality. Diversity of cultures and the multiplicity of expressions of that which is human, are factors of mutual emulation and enrichment; they should not become obstacles to he development of a culture based on the values of progress, peace and brotherhood. No right is alienable, and there must be no discrimination with regard to the right of active citizenship, or that of the practice of democracy, or that of exercising freedom of though and expression.
  6. Given the ethical nature of these principles, the participants in the Carthage Conference call upon intellectuals, politicians and authorities in the communications networks to do their utmost to promote education for tolerance and strengthen the values of liberty and human rights, by dissemination a culture of human brotherhood.

(Carthage, April 22nd 1995)

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